Man, have I been on a “chicken” kick lately, or what?! I should buy stock in Morningstar Farms! I didn’t plan on making this soup for dinner last night (so soon after “chicken” noodle soup and “chicken” salad), but Toby had an early soccer game, and I needed to make the lightest meal I had planned for the week. This turned out well, although if I make it again, I will cook the onion, bell pepper, celery mixture longer. It was too crunchy for me. I used 1 bag of the MSF Chik’n Strips, and I just warmed them in a frying pan with some cooking spray, then let them cool. After they cooled down, I just tore them into smaller pieces. Don’t leave off the Parmesan cheese at the end. It mixes in with the soup and gets all gooey.
Italian “Chicken” Soup
prep time: 20 min.
cook time: 1 hour, 30 min.
1 box Ditalini Pasta (very Short Macaroni-type Pasta Noodles)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 whole Cut Up Fryer Chicken (I used 1 bag of Morningstar Farms Chik’n Strips)
8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth (I used vegetarian chicken broth)
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
2 whole Green Bell Peppers, Diced
2 stalks Celery, Diced
2 whole Fresh Jalapenos, Diced (I omitted)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 can (28-ounce) Can Whole Tomatoes
2 cups Heavy Cream
⅓ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Oregano
Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
Parmesan Cheese Shavings, For Serving (I used grated Parmesan)
Cook pasta in a pot according to package directions, being sure not to overcook it. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Toss in 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.
Place chicken in a large pot or dutch oven and cover in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer chicken, covered, for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and leave covered for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and shred meat. Discard bones and set meat aside.
Dice canned tomatoes and return them to their juice. Set aside.
Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and oregano and turn off heat, stirring over the next minute to keep oregano from burning. Set this aside.
Either pour off chicken broth into a separate container or use a new pot to saute onion, green pepper, celery, and jalapenos in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, shredded chicken, and tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add cooked pasta, cream, and all the oregano and olive oil from the small skillet. Stir to combine. Turn off heat.
Serve with lots of Parmesan sprinkled on the top–the more the better! Crusty Italian bread is good, too.