Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chilly Southern California Chicken Vegetable Soup

 I love it when we have cloudy, rainy, chilly (only going to be 60* today!!) days in Southern California. Yes, I know, for the rest of you this is warm and gorgeous. But here we take our cold very seriously. This is when I get into the mood to make home made soup. My favorite is chicken and vegetable soup made with as many organic or locally grown ingredients as possible. If you can't find all organic ingredients, the most important organic vegetables are celery, tomatoes and carrots and parsley and, of course, organic chicken. I know it is a little pricier and a little more work, but it is definitely worth the effort. This is what I'm making today--yum. Plus, when I'm under the weather, I make this soup and eat only this until I'm well--and I'm better in about 3 days.

     INGREDIENTS                        Whole or cut up chicken... (save breasts for other dishes)
        Organic, please!                      5-10 whole cloves
                                                        A few (15-20) fennel seeds
                                                        Bay leaf
                                                        3-4 Qts. water in large pot to generously cover chicken
                                  Simmer the chicken with the spices for about 1.5 hours. Let chicken cool;
                                  remove from bones and skim fat. (Today I also added a bit of rosemary and
                                  coriander seeds.)

                                                        4-5 stalks celery, chopped medium
                                                        1/2 large red pepper, chopped medium
                                                        3/4 lb.- 1 lb. baby carrots, cut in half
                                                        baby peas
                                                        2 zucchini, sliced 1/2" thick and quartered
                                                        green beans or haricot verts, cut in half
                                                        tomatoes, cut up or whole cherry tomatoes
                                                        (any other suitable vegetables at hand)
                                                        1/2 c. dry little white beans (soaked and cooked separately--add
                                                                                                      liquid to soup stock)
                                                        1/4 lb. or more Portobello (or other) mushrooms
                                                        1/3 c. chopped sweet onion (or 1 leek)
                                                        2 cloves chopped fresh garlic
                                                        1/3 c. (or more) pressed down chopped Italian parsley
                                                        Fresh ground black pepper
                                                    (Adjust seasonings to your taste)

                                Add the vegetables to stock and bring to a simmer.  Add the boned chicken;
                                continue simmering until the vegetables are cooked.    DO NOT LET
                                VEGETABLES BOIL.  ( To preserve their nutritional value the vegetables
                                                                         must not reach boil)
                                Add two heaping tablespoons prepared PESTO to soup, stir and remove from
                                Serve with chopped avocado and/or freshly grated peccorino romano cheese
                                and toasted garlic French bread.
                                *** Skip the gluten (French bread) if you are ill.                

Andrew started eating the soup before I had time to take a photo.
He also ate 2/3 of the bread before I took these shots.  (The amount of food consumed by this man/child never ceases to amaze me)

I think I've got it!!! The pictures got to where they are supposed to be on the first or second attempt. I'm still having trouble with "Helvetica" and the large size font--I think that I can only change font and size at the beginning of the post (correct me if I'm wrong)--but things were pretty smooth.

Thanks for visiting. Be well. Mary

1 comment:

  1. I could really go for some of that soup today..we've been hitting single digit temps in the evening and at's getting cold!! and hot soup is so perfect on these cold days...
    thanks for the recipe..