Chicken Vegetable Soup with Pasta

Dinner tonight was Chicken Noodle Soup.  The following is not an exact recipie, I'm afraid.  The idea was to use as much of the free stuff I had as possible.  Anything marked with an astrix (*) was from the food bank.

Important thing to note about using freebies: learn to think technique, not recipies.  If you learn basic techniques and are not afraid to be creative, no matter what you have you can eat well. 

Broth:

  • 2 Large chicken breasts, bone in *
  • Parsnip
  • Carrot
  • Celery Sticks*
  • Fennel stalks (the parts growing out the top of the bulb, including the feathery leaves)
  • Leeks* (split in half and rinse, but do not chop)
  • Chopped garlic
  • Handful of fresh picked herbs - Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, and Marjoram
  • Whole peppercorns

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large pot with about two quarts water.  Cover to help it boil faster. Simmer 30-45 minutes unil the chicken is done.  Remove chicken, reserving one breast for a later meal.  Cool, de-bone and chop chicken coarsly.  Strain out and discard the remaining ingredients, reserving the broth for the soup.

Soup:

  • Cooked, chopped chicken from one large, whole breast
  • Reserved broth
  • Assorted chopped vegetables, to taste: carrot*, leek*, celery*, parsnip, and sugar snap peas* where used.
  • 4 oz. small pasta (stars in this case)
  • Croutons (recipie follows)

Return reserved broth to a simmer.  Add all ingredients except pasta, peas (if you are using them) and croutons.  When soup has simmered about 10 minutes, add the pasta.  Break up the pea pods into bite-sized pieces.  Add to soup about 5 mnutes after the pasta.  Cook 5 minutes until peas are done.  Serve in bowls topped with croutons.

Croutons:

  • Whole Wheat Bread*, a little dry is good
  • Italian Herb Mix

Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Cut bread into cubes and place in a plastic bag.  Sprinkle on Herb Mix and shake to coat.  Place bread cubes on a baking tray.  Toast about 10 minutes until cubes are dry.

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