Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Feeling Yucky? Soup to the Rescue!

I've been inspired by Sarah and Lainey to post some recipes that are always major pick-me-ups.  This soup is definitely one of them, and I've made it quite a bit the past few months!  Having a hubs with a cold will do that to ya...and whenever he starts getting the sniffles, he ALWAYS asks me to make this.  Can't say I blame him - this soup is loaded with veggies and it's really soothing...AND it's good for you!  The veggies provide a ton of vitamins and nutrients to get you through any ailment.  I'm not proud to say it, but I can go through a whole pot of this on my own in a couple of days (let's be honest...1.5 days). 

Here you have it, Nicole's Kickin' Chickin' (or Veggie) Soup!

I use an 8 quart stock pot - but you can really tailor this to any size.  The recipe below is for the 8qt pot but just reduce the amounts to your liking for a smaller (or bigger!) pot.
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3-5 cloves garlic (more or less depending on if you like it - I use like 8!)
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 big can of crushed tomatoes (28oz)
  • 4 medium/large carrots
  • 3-4 stalks celery
  • 2 cups fingerling potatoes (or any potato - measurement is for chopped amount)
  • 4-5 chicken tenderloins or 2-3 chicken breasts (I use frozen and thawed - you can omit if you want just veggie soup)
  • 1 can hominy (drained) OR 1 cup of farro (not necessary - both times I used these it was because I had them and was trying to get rid of them)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1-3 cups water (to thin out if needed)
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1.5 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne or red pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder for chicken (if desired)
  • Lots of salt and pepper to taste
 I start with the pot on med/high heat and a layer of olive oil on the bottom (I cook everything in olive oil!).  Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, paprika, onion and garlic powder and saute until browned on the outside (but not cooked through - about 2 minutes per side).  Place on plate to rest for later.

Finely chop garlic and slice onions - add to pot to saute with some salt and pepper (I salt and pepper each time I add something to the pot).

Chop all veggies into even pieces - about 1 inch cubes - and add to pot.  Add tomato paste.  Saute for 5 - 7 minutes.

Add seasoning:  basil, parsley, pepper, paprika, salt and pepper to taste - continue to saute for 5 more minutes.  You can really add whatever seasoning you like to change the flavor - use more or less of things you want.

Add liquids and grains:  can of tomatoes, hominy or farro, chicken/veggie stock and wine.  Add water if needed - liquid should cover veggies and give them enough room to boil.

Cover and bring up to a rolling boil. 

After boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until veggies are soft, about 45 minutes to an hour.  You can't really overcook this soup, but don't eat it until the potatoes are done.  If you're going with the vegetarian option, the soup is done and ready to enjoy!

After veggies cook, cut chicken into pieces - again about 1-2 inch sized cubes - add to pot.  Stir to make sure chicken gets incorporated.

Continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked all the way through.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and you're done!  For added kick, you can add a few shots of tabasco sauce, but it's perfectly fine without it.

My favorite way to have this soup is with toast or bread on the bottom of the bowl, then some shredded cheddar cheese, then put the soup on top.  YUMMY!  It's also good with just a sprinkling of parmesan on top.  Again, limitless options =)

Also, you can definitely substitute a rotisserie chicken and just pull the meat off if you don't want to cook your own.

And finally, let me just address the elephant in the kitchen.  I'm not really a "recipe" person.  I rarely follow recipes exactly, unless I'm baking, because I always feel like I could use a touch more of this or replace that or add this and remove documenting my "go-to" meals are difficult.  I will literally use whatever I have lying around and add/change/remove seasonings and ingredients depending on how I feel that day.  However, I've done a pretty accurate job of documenting this one, since I realized that if I'm sick, I need to have a way for Marc to make it =)

Hope you enjoy and hope all those with the sniffles are getting better soon =)


  1. Awesome post, soup sounds great, and thanks for the shout out!

  2. Yum Yum, this sounds do tasty (and healthy)!


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