Monday, January 5, 2009

Chicken Minestrone Soup

Ok, yes, I am crazy. I enjoy cooking with whole foods and don't mind when it takes a long time. We buy very little in the way of processed foods (we have some serious weaknesses though- like for bacon and Dr Pepper, though not together)

I hate the taste of canned minestrone soup, but when I came across a recipe I decided to try it from scratch and- big surprise here- I love it! This is a result of looking at a bunch of different recipes and then doing my own thing ;)

For broth:
Leftover chicken, picked clean of usable meat
Celery leafy parts
1 carrot
part of an old leftover onion
Spices, if you want

Simmer this all together as long as you can. A crock pot may work for this too, but I haven't tried it. Every now and then skim off any foam that forms, as well as some of the fat that floats to the top. When all the veggies are mushy and the chicken is falling apart, strain all the solid stuff out and you have broth

For the soup:
Chicken meat, cut into manageable pieces
Broth from recipe above
1-2 TBSP olive oil
1 small yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 carrot, chopped (end pieces go into both pot)
1 stalk of celery, chopped (end pieces go into broth pot)
1 can cannelloni beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small package frozen spinach
2 tsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 1/2 cups bow tie pasta

Saute the onion and garlic in some olive oil for a few minutes. Add in the carrot and celery and saute for a few more minutes, until they are softened. Stir in everything but the spinach, pasta and tomatoes in as much broth as you need to cover it all up. Cook for 30 min, an hour, however long... this is pretty flexible.

Thaw the spinach in some hot broth while the soup is cooking.

About 20-30 min before you want to serve the meal, stir in the noodles, spinach and tomatoes. Add more broth if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste. I recommend adding a little cayenne pepper if someone in the house has a cold. Serve when the noodles are cooked how you like them.

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