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Archive for the ‘Soup’ Category

Vegetarian Chili

  Every year at work, we have a chili cook-off to kick off the start of March Madness.  The cook-off is always on a Friday, and it’s always during Lent.  For us Catholics, Lent is a time when we don’t eat meat on Fridays.  The only chili that I felt I made well enough to serve to other people has always had meat in it.  Leaving the meat out just didn’t taste right.  That meant I couldn’t eat my own chili during the potluck lunch! 

  This year, I thought I would do some research online for good vegetarian chili recipes.  This recipe base came from a recipe in Gourmet magazine. You can find it on epicurious.com.  It was highly rated, so I tried it out this week on my Hubby before I made it for the cook-off.  (Thanks for being my guinea pig, Love!)

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Italian Chicken Soup

I know that I can’t complain about the weather here in North Carolina, since it is snowing everywhere else on the East Coast.  For us down here though, yesterday was cold and rainy.  A perfect day to have soup for lunch.  I am sending a mental bowl of this soup to all of you snowed/iced in!

I made this soup a few weeks ago and froze it in several portions. It is good on the day you make it, but even better after the flavors have time to mingle.

Italian Chicken Soup

3 chicken breasts with the bone, about 3 pounds total
2 quarts chicken stock (chicken Bouillon also works)
28 oz canned diced San Marzano Italian tomatoes
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 celery ribs, finely chopped                                                                                                      rind from a wedge of parmesan cheese
8 ounces orzo or other small, shaped pasta
4 cups chopped fresh spinach, escarole or kale
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper

1. Remove and discard the skin from the chicken breasts and place the breasts in a large soup pot. Add the chicken broth, bring it to a boil and reduce the heat so that the broth just simmers. Simmer until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and transfer to a plate to cool.

2. Skim the fat from the broth and bring it back to a boil. Add the tomatoes, onion, carrots, celery and parmesan rind. Simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the orzo  and cook for 5 to 8 more minutes, until the pasta is al dente.

4. Meanwhile, discard the bones from the chicken and chop the meat into small pieces.

5. Add the chicken and escarole to the soup pot and simmer for another minute or two. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  If needed, add a chicken bouillon cube for extra depth of flavor.  Serve in warm soup bowls with a thick slice of Italian bread.

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