Chicken Minestrone

Who makes soup on a day when it hits 80 degrees?  That’d be me.

This recipe is from 400 Soups.

Substitutions made, noted below.

chix minestrone 1

Chicken Minestrone

1 tblsp olive oil
2 chicken thighs – I used 3 boneless
3 rindless streaky (fatty) bacon rashers (strips), chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
a few fresh basil leaves, shredded – I used dried
a few fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped – I used dried
1 tblsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsely – I used dried
2 potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes – I used red potatoes
1 large carrot, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 or 2 celery sticks, cut into 1/2 cubes
4 c chicken stock
1 c small soup pasta
salt and ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese shavings, for serving – I used the Trader Joes Parm/Reggiano blend

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, (I used my 5 quart dutch oven for all soup preparation) add the chicken thighs and fry for about 5 minutes on each side.  Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the bacon, onion and herbs to the pan and cook gently, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.  Add the potatoes, carrot, zucchini and celery and cook for 5-7 minutes more.

Return the chicken thighs to the pan, add the stock and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook over a low heat for 35-40 minutes, stirring the soup occasionally to prevent sticking.

chix minestrone 2

Remove the chicken thighs with a slotted spoon and place them on a board.  Stir the peas and pasta into the soup and bring back to a boil.  Simmer, stirring, for 7-8 minutes or according to the instructions on the packet, until the pasta is just al dente.

Meanwhile, remove and discard the chicken skin, then remove the meat from the chicken bones and cut it into small pieces.  Since I used boneless, I only had to cut these into pieces.

Return the chicken meat to the soup, stir well and heat through.  Taste and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Ladle into warmed soup plates or bowls, top with cheese and serve pipping hot.

chix minestrone 3

cartoon-strawberry-9So this soup was good, but a little bland the first night.  But the second day?  Wowzers!  All the flavors had bloomed and deepened.  When I make this soup again, I will prepare it the day before, skim the fat and reheat for serving.  I would also add a fourth chicken thigh, just to add a little more meat.

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