Veggie Chicken Soup

Veggie Chicken Soup

Vegetable Chicken Soup: This version made with shredded roasted chicken breast, organic canned plum tomatoes, butternut squash, bay leaves and fresh herbs (lemon balm, basil, rosemary, oregano and sage).
Vegetable Chicken Soup: This version made with shredded roasted chicken breast, organic canned plum tomatoes, butternut squash, bay leaves and fresh herbs (lemon balm, basil, rosemary, oregano and sage).

This week, being conscious of our expanding diets, I visited the farmer’s market to pick up carrots, leeks, fingerling potatoes, zucchini and basil. The local grocery store yielded a few out of season tomatoes. The taste will probably be pale, but I’ll add a bit of balsamic vinegar to sweeten them back to their palatial sweet destiny. I’ve been consciously avoiding starches and sugar; justifying my consummation of a cornucopia worth of food. Below is a recipe for Veggie Chicken soup. It’s light and tasty until heavy Thursday arrives.

Vegetable Chicken Soup

Ingredients
2 cups of sliced leeks (only the pale green, tender white part)
1 clove of garlic, minced/crushed
1 roughly chopped green bell pepper
1-1/2 cup of diagonal sliced carrots
1 to 2 cups of sliced fingerling potatoes (don’t worry about removing the skin)
2 cups of chicken stock, low-sodium
Tomato purée
2 to 3 cups of chopped skinless, boneless chicken
1 cup of chopped fresh basil
6 twigs of fresh thyme
red pepper flakes, to taste
salt and pepper; to taste
Basil pesto

Directions
1. In a large pot, cook chicken in olive oil over medium heat. When the chicken is done, set aside.

2. Add leeks to the same pot and sauté for five minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 30 sec. Add green pepper and stir for 2 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes. Continue to sauté for 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Add zucchini, chicken stock, thyme, red pepper flakes and tomato purée (see recipe below). Bring to boil. Add chicken and basil. Cover and bring back to boil. Reduce temperature to a low-heat to simmer the soup. Allow to simmer for 45 min. to one hour.

3. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with b asil pesto (see recipe below). Enjoy with a slice of thick multi-grain or wheat bread.

Basil Pesto

Ingredients
1/4 cup Walnuts or pine nuts, toasted
1 to 2 cloves of garlic
1/8 cup white wine
2 to 3 cups of basil leaves
The juice of one lemon
4 oz. of Parmesan or pecorino cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
3 to 4 tbsp. Olive oil

Directions
Place all ingredients, except olive oil, in a food processor and puree until smooth. Slowly add olive oil. Continue to puree until creamy smooth.

Tomato Purée

Ingredients
6-8 tomatoes
balsamic vinegar, to taste

In a pot of boiling water, add whole tomatoes. When the skin begins to peel, remove from pot. Under running water, peel the skin from the tomatoes. Place tomatoes in a food processor and puree until smooth. Depending on the sweetness of the tomatoes, add balsamic vinegar to taste. Set aside.

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