Friday, November 1, 2013

Chicken and Vegetable Minestrone

Though we no longer have kids at home and have to be out and about on Halloween, it's still a busy night for us. The doorbell is ringing every few minutes with trick or treaters, neighbors come by and we chat, we visit a few houses with the granddaughters. Knowing things would be busy I prepared a pot of soup.  Soup is one of those foods that you can make ahead, reheat, leave out for guests and all will be ok.  This soup, from Sara Foster, was very good, lots of fresh veggies which meant it was also good for us, always a bonus! It's lighter than a traditional minestrone, a nice variation. I love soup, think it's the ultimate comfort food.  It was a great dinner on a fun night!

Chicken and Vegetable Minestrone

Serves 8 to 10 / makes about 3 quarts

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots diced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
3 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 summer squash (yellow or zucchini), diced

4 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups chicken broth
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (meat from a 3 1/2 - 4 pound roasted or poached chicken)
2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cup small shape pasta ( elbow macaroni or bow tie)

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup chopped green cabbage
2 cups fresh spinach, stems removed, washed and drained
8 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or marjoram leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook and stir about 10 minutes. Add the carrots, bell pepper, tomatoes and squash and cook and stir another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sit a minute longer.

2. Add the broth, chickpeas, chicken, salt and pepper and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for about 1 hour.

3. Add the pasta, green beans and cabbage and bring the soup back to a low boil. reduce the heat and simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. add the spinach, basil and oregano and remove the soup from the heat and season to taste. Serve hot topped with the freshly grated Parmesan.

My notes:

I poached 2 large chicken breasts
I used zucchini, 2 small ones
The green beans in my grocery store looked limp so I used frozen
I didn't have fresh oregano or marjoram so used a few teaspoons of Italian season

And, like most foods, this minestrone was definitely enhanced with a glass of wine.  Tonight we had a glass of Twomey merlot.  The Twomey winery is located in Oakville and is one of our favorite places to visit whenever we are in the Napa Valley.

1 comment:

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