Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Favorite Soup!

Fall has kicked into gear and since it was drizzling outside today I thought I would make some chicken soup. As I was cooking I was reminded that on more than several occasions I have been asked for this recipe. So, par my sister in-law's idea (thank you Laura), I decided to finally blog it, that way you can all enjoy this hearty soup.

Let me start by saying, I LOVE this soup. This is actually one of my favorites. It's healthy, it's super yummy, it very filling and it's easy to make. Despite the fact that it seems like there are a lot of components to this dish, it's really more of a mesh of whatever you happen to have in the fridge. That's why it's so great, you get to use the veggies that need to get used.

This recipe cooks a huge pot of soup, probably about 8 servings.

The ingredients (subject to change depending on what you have in your fridge!):

-3 bone in skin on chicken breasts
-Olive Oil
-1 package of Turkey bacon (or regular bacon if you prefer)
-4 Chicken apple sausages (or whatever sausages you enjoy)
-1 onion
-2 boxes of chicken broth
-Large can of tomatoes
-1 cup of any grain (I like to use pearled barley), sometimes I use rice or oats
-A leafy green veggie: I love using dinosaur kale, I love how it cuts down and I feel like I'm filling myself up with vitamins and minerals. One thing I learned from one of the various cooking show I watch is that if you use a knife to cut kale the leaves a metallic taste on the kale itself, it's best to pull it off the stalk and the rip it into bits. Isn't it beautiful?

-Other veggies! Seriously, whatever you have in your fridge will work. If you experiment you'll figure out which combos you like the best. One of my favorites is to use different squash and carrots, sometime I add potatoes, even cauliflower. It's literally kind of a, "hmm, let's see what needs to get used and what might be tasty in a soup" kind of thing.

Getting started:

First you've got to cook the chicken, I like to cook the chicken separately, it's so tasty this way and it means the chicken won't overcook.

-Put chicken on a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, rub with salt.
-Stick it in the oven at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
-Take it out and let it sit to cool down.

-Get everything that's going to go into the soup ready, . . . Chop up sausage, bacon, onion and any other veggies, rip up kale, rinse grains, open can of tomatoes.

In a large pot:
-Heat a couple of Tbs. of olive oil
-Add sausage and bacon, cook till browned
-Add onions and carrots (or other hard veggies), cook till softened
-Add soft veggies (not including leafy green)
-Add chicken stalk, about 8 cups, plus a cup or two of water
-Add grain
-Bring to a boil and the let simmer for 30 minutes
-Meanwhile, take skins off chicken (give to dog or cat) and pull chicken breast apart into small bite size pieces
-Check soup to see if grains are fully cooked, if they are, . . .
-Add leafy green, tomatoes and chicken
-Cover and let simmer another 8 minutes (till greens cook down a little)
-And Voila! Bon Appetite!

The munchkin loves this soup too! I blend it for her and she gobbles it up.