Week of Mondays (and Italian Chicken Soup)

I have no idea why, but this past week has felt like a week of Mondays. I, appropriately, feel sort of like Garfield: I want to sleep in a box and eat lasagna. There’s some wacky business going on right now–lots of weird news, asshats on the Internet (which is nothing new), I keep forgetting what state I live in, and thankfully, that chocolate pudding pie isn’t around anymore, because I sort of want to dive into it. It’s cuddle-with-cats o’clock.

This super comforting soup was perfect for yesterday, when it was windy and snowy. It’s not lasagna, but it’s rich, savory, and really quite wonderful. I’ve changed the original recipe a little; I only used one jalapeño (it was pretty big, though), and I reduced the cream by 3/4C. We have an insane amount left over, despite having two bowls each last night.

Be warned; this recipe requires dirtying a bunch of pots and bowls, but you can prep a lot of it early. If you cook the chicken earlier in the day, or even the day before, that will save you a bunch of time. You could even use a rotisserie chicken if you were super pressed.

Italian Chicken Soup

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman (she is a veritable genius)

  • 1 box little pasta (I used elbows; you could use orzo, ditalini, etc.)
  • 1T olive oil (to toss with pasta)
  • 1 whole chicken, cut up
  • 8C chicken stock
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1T olive oil (to saute veggies)
  • 1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes
  • 1.25C heavy cream
  • 1/3C olive oil (to mix with oregano)
  • 2T dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan to top soup

Cook pasta, rinse in cold water, toss with olive oil, and set aside.

Put chicken and chicken stock in a big pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let it sit for another 30 minutes. Remove the chicken, strain the broth into another big pot or bowl (you need it later), cool the chicken (I threw some ice cubes on top of it), and shred. Set that aside, too. Save the bones to make your own stock.

Chop up the canned tomatoes and put them back in their juice. Set those aside, too.

Heat a small pan til it’s pretty hot, then remove from heat, and add 1/3C olive oil and oregano. Stir that up, and set it aside.

In a big stock pot, saute the onion, green and jalapeño peppers, and celery in olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until the onions get kind of brown. Pour in the chicken stock, shredded chicken, and tomatoes. Bring it up to a boil, then down to a simmer. Throw in the cooked pasta, cream, and oregano/olive oil mixture. Stir that up, add salt and pepper to taste, give it a minute to heat through, and turn off the heat.

Serve with parmesan and good bread.

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