Friday, October 26, 2012

Tuscan Chicken Soup with Fall Veggies

Prepare yourself for a long anecdote of my discovery of this delectable soup.

I love the fall. The colors, the flavors, the smells just make me happy. I did not enjoy the dip into winter a couple of days ago though. I know the weather in Utah can vary from warm and sunny to windy and snowing in a matter of hours but I am never prepared for it.

Fortunately this soup was on the menu for dinner. This is fall comfort food at it's finest. The best part about it is it's jammed full of veggies and very little calories to add to the waistline. It's easy to change up with what you have on hand or to go with the seasons. I'd probably use peas in the spring in place of butternut squash and a summer squash like crookneck or zucchini in the summer.

The first time I had this was at my sister-in-laws house when we spontaneously popped in on them and demanded food (or at least my husband did). Actually we just wanted to catch up but we hadn't eaten dinner so it worked. As I walked up to her house I could smell something delicious clear from outside her house that had zero windows open. I didn't think it could possible be coming from her house, someone close by must have a window open while cooking something yummy. Fortunately it was from their house. I was salivating the entire time it was simmering, it smelled so good. She got the recipe from here and followed almost exactly, only subbing half and half for heavy cream.

Two days later I was already craving it and made it again. I wanted a little more of a fall theme so I used a butternut squash that I had from my Bountiful Basket and a red pepper. I also altered the ratios a bit. If you don't want to buy a whole butternut squash and peel and dice it, most grocery stores (Wal-mart for sure) have it already diced and bagged next to the salad section. I literally ate four bowls of it throughout that evening and my kids loved it! My son was actually picking the veggies out and popping them into his mouth. He's kind of a messy eater, as in it looks like a tornado hit after every meal.



Tuscan Chicken Soup with Fall Veggies
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 medium yellow onion, diced
 4  carrots, peeled and sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
2 cups diced butternut squash
1 red pepper, diced (or orange or yellow)
3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped or pressed
1 heaping tsp dried oregano
1 heaping tsp dried basil
1/2 cup half and half (optional)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  15 oz can crushed tomatoes
8 cups good chicken stock (I used Rachel Ray's)
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup Acini de pepe pasta
 
In a large pot add olive oil and saute onions, celery, carrots, squash, red pepper and garlic over medium high heat for 10-12 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, basil, oregano and chicken. Simmer soup for 20 minutes, vegetables should be tender. Add the pasta and cook right in the soup for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.  Add half and half if using and allow to simmer for a couple more minutes.
*Adapted from Peanut Blossom's Tuscan Chicken Soup

**One thing that I love doing with soups is to cut up double or triple the veggies and put the extra in the freezer as "soup starters". That way you are not taking up a bunch of room in your freezer with a whole pot of soup and your pasta doesn't expand beyond control and absorb all the liquid. In this "soup starter" I put the chicken, onions, carrots, celery, squash, red pepper, garlic, oregano and basil in the ziploc bag. When you're ready to make it just skip the saute step, dump the entire bag into your chicken stock, simmer for 20 minutes, add pasta and simmer for 10 more minutes. Put in a little half and half and Viola! Fast, easy, healthful meal on a busy day!

Check it out, we were featured on Something Swanky!

Did you love this soup?! Rate it on Tasty Kitchen

19 comments:

  1. What a heartwarming dish!
    I would love to have you share this (or any other recipe of your) to Wednesday Extravaganza - my foodie link party with a special something :) Here is the link:
    http://www.hungrylittlegirl.com/1/post/2012/10/wednesday-extravaganza.html

    Can't wait to see you there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I finally figured out how to do buttons! Sorry it took me so long to get one of yours on my page, we're pretty new at this :)

      Delete
  2. Looks so delicious and perfect for a cool autumn evening.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the seasonal butternut squash in the recipe. Thank you for sharing this soup on foodie friday.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my - I am loving how that looks!
    Would love if you stopped by my party to link this up!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

    http://staceyembracingchange.blogspot.com/2012/10/creative-inspirations-linky-party_31.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. Delicious!
    Thanks for linking up this week -
    hope to see you this week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

    ReplyDelete

  6. Hello! I’m stopping in to invite you to join us at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop
    this week!

    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/11/clever-chicks-blog-hop-7-country-craft.html

    I hope to see you there!
    Cheers!
    Kathy
    The Chicken Chick

    ReplyDelete
  7. This sounds fantastic! Soup is one of my absolute favorite things .... I am hosting an Ultimate Soup Recipe Party. I would love for you to share this recipe and any others you may have! I hope to see you there :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I sure did. When I have my lap top back I will add you to our links parties!

      Delete
  8. Hi there. The current Food on Friday is all about pasta and noodles! So it would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . Have a good week.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Jen, thanks for linking in - and a big thank you, too, for following Carole's Chatter. I have followed you right back. Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carole! I love your blog too!

      Delete
  10. Tonight is the second time I've made this soup. what I love about it is you can put whatever you have in it and go wild on the spices if you like. Tonight I put in summer squash, celery,yukon gold potatoes, red peppers from the olive bar, black soy beans, and two kinds of tiny pasta. I like to do half butter and half olive oil like Julia Child and I like Better than Bouillon for the broth. Thanks for sharing. It's delicious! Darece

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Darece, I love that too. I always just add what I have on hand :)

      Delete
  11. I saw your soup on Crumbs & Chaos. Love the spices and pasta. Would love for you to share on Thursdays Treasures http://fooddonelight.com/thursdays-treasures-week-63/

    ReplyDelete