Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Icky Sicky Chicken, White Bean, Bacon and Pasta Noodle Soup

I have been sick with bronchitis for seven days and each day seems worse than the previous day.  It's been tough because I just moved to a new place last weekend, and have been itchin' to cook my first meal, here, in my new digs.  A pantry version of the old chicken noodle soup remedy was not what I had in mind for my first meal.  But, it has proven to have been a good and wise choice.  Without further ado, here is my recipe:

Starting line-up:
1 pound chicken  (I used thinly sliced chicken breasts which I cut into nearly uniform cubes)
celery hearts with leaves, chopped
1 large white, yellow or red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
3 strips applewood smoked bacon, chopped
2 red potatoes, cubed
1 cup farfalle pasta (or your favorite pasta)
salt and pepper to taste
one tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 or 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1 14.5 ounce can white kidney beans, strained and rinsed
1 can corn kernel, drained and rinsed 
2 cans of chicken broth (or one large box)
*1 carrot, chopped or shredded (I forgot to get a carrot at the store, so it is not in my photos, but I normally add it to my stoups)
*eggs  (I love to add an egg or two or three to my simmering stoups for added protein)

There are a million and one variations of making stoups and soups, but this is the one I made last night.  Not my best work, but it hit the spot and helped me settle me and helped me sleep through the night.  Hope you take it and make it your own.  Enjoy!

Add the chopped bacon to a high-sided pot over medium-high heat.  Why bacon?  Why not?  As the bacon renders, reduce the heat to medium.  When the bacon has rendered, add the onion and garlic.  Sweat out the onions and add the chicken once the onions start to become translucent.  Add the celery after sauteing the onions and garlic for three minutes.  After three more minutes, add the spices and saute' another three minutes.  Add the drained and rinsed beans and corn and incorporate well. Add the broth and worchestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Bring to a simmer and add the pasta and thoroughly stir that in for even cooking. Allow to simmer for thirty minutes.  At this point, before that thirty minute simmer on low, I like to add a few eggs and let them poach.  That's just me.

Just a little extra happy tip:  I added a quarter cup of grated parmesan cheese to the stoup for a buttery, salty bite.  Try it, you will be glad you did!