Feed the Freezer!

Nothing says, “I’m home” this time of year better than a bowl of homemade soup!  I’ve been running nonstop the past couple of months, and my freezer (which is typically stocked with all sorts of go-to goodness,) was practically bare (and hungry!)  I was so looking forward to this free weekend to restock my soup inventory with some old favorites, previously posted, and linked below for easy reference:

Giada’s Chicken Spezzatino (made with my homemade white beans to replace the cannellini beans called for in the recipe.)

Bowl of soup - vegetables, artichoke hearts, and chicken

Vegetable/Chicken Spezzatino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ina’s Vegetable Lentil Soup (with my addition of roasted chicken.)

Bowl of Lentil Soup

Roasted Chicken Lentil Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An old family favorite – Minestre (made today with chicken thighs.

[Look down the linked page for original recipe.)

Bowl of soup - greens, white beans, and chicken

Chicken Minestre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My rendition of Split Pea Soup (still cooking, but you can see a pic on the linked page!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope these old favorite soup recipes inspire a bowl of hot, delicious soup on your table real soon!  Next weekend, a re-do of my favorite Christmas cookies!

Buon appetito!

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Sunday, Fun Day, SOUP!!

It was anything but cold here in San Diego this past weekend, but it is winter – and with that comes the craving for delicious nutritious soup!  You know my freezer is always stocked with homemade soup selections, so it was time to restock!  Here’s what came from two chickens and a few vegetables:

4 Quarts Chicken Soup, 5 Quarts Roasted Chicken Lentil Soup, Chicken Salad, and Roasted Chicken (with sweet potatoes) for dinner!

Chicken Soup/Roasted Chicken Lentil Soup

Chicken Soup/Roasted Chicken Lentil Soup

The recipe for this lentil soup is straight from Ina Garten’s Vegetable Lentil Soup recipe, with the added deliciousness of  shredded roasted chicken!  Either way, it’ll warm you up!

Roasted!

 

 

 

 

 

Lentil and Roasted Chicken Soup
(Vegetarian – Omit the Roasted Chicken)
1 pound lentils
3 large yellow onions
2 leeks, white parts only (chopped)
3 cloves garlic – minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 TBSP Kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 TBSP minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp. ground cumin
8 celery stalks – ½-inch chop
6 carrots – ½-inch chop
3 quarts chicken stock
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 Bone-In Roasted Chicken Breasts (shredded) – optional

In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.

In a large stockpot on medium heat, sauté the onions, leeks, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and very tender. Add the celery and carrots and sauté for 10 more minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, until the lentils are cooked through. Check the seasonings. Add the red wine and shredded chicken.   Serve hot, sprinkled with grated Parmesan.
 

Versatile Chicken!  I love to make chicken salad with roasted chicken, so I cut up the two chickens, roasted the 4 breast halves with the legs and wings, used the two backs and all the thighs for the chicken soup.  Two of the roasted chicken breast halves were shredded for the Lentil soup, and the other two were chopped and combined with some chopped celery, carrots, walnuts, dried cranberries, a dash each of Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and cumin, along with a couple spoonfuls of mayo – and voila – Roasted Chicken Salad!

Treat yourself to a Sunday, Fun Day in the kitchen – and reap the reward with meal after meal!

Your freezer IS your pantry – saving money, saving time!