Monday, January 9, 2012
I can't bring myself to trust this flu shot pushed on us the past few winters, so I'll just make sure my body is stocked up on natural bug-fighting foods.
This soup thickens fast, so the next day it makes a great casserole. Just add mozzarella, parmesan, and maybe ricotta cheese, toss in the oven until hot, and you have an awesome dinner in no time. Perfect after a busy day.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb), cubed
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 fat carrot, chopped
chop the top part of a celery bunch, including the leafy tops, about 1 cup's worth
2 fat garlic cloves, grated
1 (28 oz)can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice, chopped, if desired. (I open the can, and leaving the tomatoes in the can, insert kitchen scissors and chop away for a few seconds until they're the size I like. Easy, no fuss)
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce or puree
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 dried bay leaf
4 cups chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can drained rinsed cannellini beans (or any white bean)
1/2 cup ditalini pasta, or any other small pasta like elbow or bowtie
12 oz fresh spinach
fresh parmesan cheese, grated, for garnish
In a large pot, or dutch oven, brown chicken over medium-high heat in olive oil with desired amount of salt and pepper. Brown it quickly on one side, so not to cook the chicken all the way through or it will become overcooked in the minestrone.
Add onion, carrot, celery, grate in the garlic and add pinch of salt and pepper.
When carrots begin to soften, add tomato paste, oregano, basil, marjoram, and bay leaf, stir to blend in tomato paste.
Add tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, chicken broth and beans.
Turn heat up and add salt and pepper to taste.
When stew begins to boil, turn heat back down to a simmer and stir in pasta. Continue to stir until pasta stops sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente.
Remove from heat, fish out bay leaf (or just warn everyone not to eat it if they find it, like I do- haha) and add spinach, stirring until spinach is wilted. Serve with parmesan cheese and garlic bread!
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
While even better the next day, it's thick enough to eat with a fork. More beef broth, or even water can be added to thin it out a bit.
Have fun with this and make it your own, and a winter go-to dinner for leftover roast.
canola or olive oil for sauteing
1/2 chopped onion
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
combo of veggies, I used a handful each of matchstick cut zucchini, green beans, mushrooms
3 Tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 dried bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried basil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 boxes beef broth, about 40 oz or so..doesn't have to be exact
1 cup rinsed and drained uncooked barley
2-4 cups cubed leftover roast beef
2 fat Tablespoons cornstarch..I don't level off the tablespoons, I just scoop out the cornstarch. * If you want a thinner consistency, try 1 Tablespoon to a couple Tablespoons water first. After simmering about 5 minutes, if it isnt thick enough for you, add a bit more of cornstarch melted in a bit of water and stir into the hot, simmering stew.*
1/4 cup cool tap water
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat vegetable or olive oil over medium heat.
Add onion, celery, carrots, and pinch of salt and pepper. Cook and stir just until onion begins to turn translucent.
Add tomato paste and stir.
Add other veggies, starting with the ones that will take longest to cook.
Add bay leaves, one teaspoon of the basil, salt and pepper.
Cook and stir until all veggies just begin to soften.
Add broth, worchestershire, soy, the rest of the basil, pepper, and a pinch of salt. Stir and bring up to a boil, add barley, stirring to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan, then turn back down to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until barley softens.
Quickly stir in the cornstarch slurry, stirring constantly until stew begins to thicken, just a couple minutes.
Add beef and simmer until beef is heated through and veggies are desired doneness. Fish out bay leaves and serve!