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!
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!
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!
In the mood for a light, yet filling, nutritious, and delicious summer supper? Here’s an idea that can be on the table in no time if you have Ina’s Warm French Lentils ready in the freezer. (If not, you can find heat and serve lentils at your neighborhood Trader Joe’s.)
I tossed the mixed greens with a light lemon vinaigrette dressing, topped by a couple spoonfuls of warm lentils. Added some tomatoes, olives, avocado, and bleu cheese – and supper is on the table. (Walk away feeling satisfied, not stuffed, with room for a little something sweet!)
Here’s an excerpt from my post on December 25, 2013 (Christmas Eve Dinner) with Ina’s recipe for Warm French Lentils:
Saute a couple carrots (1/2-inch chopped) and one chopped leek (white and light green parts) in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add one chopped garlic clove and saute for an additional minute. Set aside. Bring 4 cups water to a boil with 1 cup dry lentils, 1 turnip (cut in half) and one whole (peeled) onion stuck with 6 cloves. Once boiling, add the carrots and leeks, reduce heat, and simmer about 20 minutes until lentils are tender. Discard turnip and onion, strain lentil mixture, and toss in a bowl with 1 tsp. unsalted butter. In a separate bowl, make a Dijon vinaigrette. (1/4 cup olive oil, 2 TBPS red wine vinegar, 4 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 TBSP kosher salt, and 1 tsp. black pepper. Add warm lentils to vinaigrette, toss, and let stand for about 15 minutes. Ready to enjoy!