Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Italian Chicken Soup

I found a recipe for Italian Chicken Soup on Tasty Kitchen.  I thought it looked pretty good but I made several changes.

The original recipe called for bell pepper and celery, two vegetables that I don't really enjoy.  So, I took out the two bell peppers and added back in one orange bell pepper as I think they have a milder, sweeter taste.  I also took out the celery and added in one zucchini and dried celery flakes for flavor.  I also reduced the amount of olive oil and used dried oregano and added minced garlic.  The original recipe cooked an entire fryer chicken and I opted for the much easier route of using a precooked rotisserie chicken.  You could also use my recipe for shredded chicken fresh or thawed from the freezer.  I also tried to simplify the cooking process.  

Another note, the original recipe says that it feeds 8 people. . . uh, maybe 8 linebackers!  It makes A LOT of soup.  I froze some for lunches, gave some to a friend and we still had plenty!  So, if you still have holiday company, this is good recipe to feed a crowd!

Italian Chicken Soup

1 whole rotisserie chicken, skinned, deboned and shredded
1 box Ditalini pasta (short macaroni-type pasta)
3 T olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole orange bell pepper, diced
1 whole fresh zucchini, chopped
2 whole fresh jalapenos, seeded and diced
8 c low-sodium chicken broth
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
1 t dried oregano
1 T dried celery flakes
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups heavy cream
Parmesan cheese shavings, for serving

Peel skin off of rotisserie chicken and discard.  Take chicken off bones and shred.  Set aside.

Cook pasta in a pot according to package directions to al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Toss in 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside. 

Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 T olive oil, onion, garlic, bell pepper, zucchini and jalapenos.  Saut√© until vegetables are tender and onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add chicken broth, shredded chicken, oregano, celery flakes, salt, pepper and tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add cooked pasta and cream. Stir to combine. Keep warm until ready to serve.  Serve topped with Parmesan cheese and crusty Italian bread on the side.
Serves 12

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