Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Vegetable Lover's Chicken Soup


T'was the day after Christmas and all through the house, the in-laws were stirring with hungry mouths. So I whipped up some soup just as quick as a flash, and we all settled down for a midday... meal (nothing rhymes with flash).  OK. I'm done. Anywho, after many days of cookie binges, a soup and salad lunch was the prefect way to feed a family of hungry people without contributing to our mutual malaise. I served my Taco Soup, Smooth Vegetable Soup, both of which I had in the freezer, and this new one. It's simple, but in my opinion way better than your average chicken noodle. Not that I have anything against egg noodles and carrots, but it's been done...a lot. The wine adds depth to the flavor and makes it seem like something special, and the red and green vegetables, or should I say fruits, make it rather festive for the holidays.

Vegetable Lover's Chicken Soup  (or Italian Chicken Soup as I have been calling it)
adapted from Eating Well

1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces
3 small zucchini, finely diced
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
3 cans (14 oz.) low-sodium, fat free chicken broth
1 heaping tsp. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
3/4 dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1 1/2 c. water
3 c. packed baby spinach
1/2 c. orzo pasta
grated parmesan cheese

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
2. Add zucchini, shallot, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth and wine; increase heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in spinach, the cooked chicken and any accumulated juices from the chicken; cook, stirring, until the chicken is heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.

The original recipe says to add the orzo in with the tomatoes, broth, and wine. I chose to cook it seperately in order to keep the recipe gluten-free. Plus, having the pasta seperate prevents any leftovers from having overly bloated, saggy, chunks that look vaguely like noodles. Just add a spoonful to each portion as desired.

1 comment:

Johnny McHairdo said...

Obviously this post calls for a comment on poaching eggs. Obviously.

One trick is to add vinegar (I'd recommend a white) to the water before dropping the egg in. This will help keep the albumin all fantastically coagulated.