Food Discovery: Mediterranean Chicken Soup

medchicksoup

Welp, here we are with our first Food Discovery post.  What is Food Discovery? Well, if you didn’t read my last post, it’s me cooking my way through my cookbooks. The science behind picking a recipe is this:

Me: Pick a number between blah and blah.
The Hero (TH): Blah.
Me: Okay, pick another number between blah and blah.
TH: Blah.
Me: Okay, pick another number between blah and blah.

You see a trend with random selection? It narrows down to the recipe based on The Hero’s numerical whims. Seeing that I am not in the mood for true random selection, this was a win.

I was skeptical with the quasi-random system, but I figured that would be the easiest way for us to get out of our comfort zone. Sigh. It worked. There were two recipes on the page when we got there. Based solely on the title, I was hoping and praying for the other one. Nope. So here we are. You can thank The Hero for this one.

Cooking Notes

A few tips. Buy fresh green beans. I know it says frozen, but like The Hero said, frozen green beans taste like the memory of mean elementary school lunch ladies. Just don’t do it. Be nice to yourself and use fresh. You’ll love me for it.

From one tomato unenthusiast to another, if you don’t like tomatoes, used crushed tomatoes. Ever since I discovered them last year (yes… last year), I use it in every tomato recipe that calls for tomatoes. It’s committing non-committally to eating tomatoes.

Don’t use those pre-cut carrots. Before I went away, I got to the point of doing e’erythang from scratch. Bunch carrots, especially the ones with the green tops, are delicious. Like… the taste between bunch and pre-cut, pre-washed carrots is noticeable. But if you need to save time… nah, wait until the weekend.

See above carrot paragraph about basil. Just get it fresh.

I love jasmine rice and since it was the only rice we had, I used it. Because of the flavors of everything else, I couldn’t taste it as much as I would have liked. Next time, I’ll probably pour the soup over the rice. We’ll see.

When you read the recipe – which I highly suggest before you start cooking – the only seasoning you’ll see is pepper. Come. On! Add some pink Himalayan or smoked sea salt. Trust me, it won’t hurt. Just make sure it’s good quality salt.

And lastly, opt for Kalamata olives. They have more character. And salt. I should have high blood pressure.

On to the recipe.

Mediterranean Chicken Soup

  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14.5 ounces tomatoes, undrained, chopped
  • 32 ounces (4 cups) chicken stock
  • 16 ounces (2 cups) water
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 tbl fresh basil, minced
  • 6 medium carrots, washed, peeled and cut into 1/2″ slices
  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4″ cubes
  • 10 ounces frozen green beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted black olives
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes or until soft.

Stir in water, tomatoes, stock, rice and basil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add carrots and cook 5 minutes.

Add chicken, green beans and olives and cook, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add black pepper.

from The Ultimate Soup Cookbook

Verdict

I would make this again. It didn’t take long, even with all the cutting and chopping. It’s relatively healthy and paired with crusty bread or croutons (don’t knock it until you try it, son!), it’s a filling meal. It’s definitely more than 4 servings and that’s coming from people with healthy appetites. 

 

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