Hearty Chicken Soup – two ways

Around the time of the Great Pittsburgh Blizzard of 2010 (mid-February) I started to get obsessed with making soup. I started with a potato soup with good results, but what I really wanted to make with a chicken vegetable soup. I found a recipe on Epicurious, but kept putting it off and putting it off and off and off and off. Why? Who knows. But when I finally made it…BAM! Magic!

The original recipe called for carrots, onions and celery, but at one point you’re supposed to strain out most of the veggies and discard them. I’m not down with that version. I wanted all my veggies. And then – tragedy! No carrots to be found! After I stopped crying, I decided to go ovaries to the wall and make it veggie-tastic.

My soup had onions, celery, potatoes, peas and green beans – all thick-cut, because I like it that way. And chicken. And rice. And I also made bread, because I felt I was not getting enough carbohydrates.

And it was FRICKING AMAZING.

Who knew?! Soup is easy and delicious! Soup is so easy that I might make it a Lazy Kitchen staple. Even a lazy cook can make good soup!

Earlier in the week (to celebrate St. Patty’s Day, but not on St. Patty’s Day because we couldn’t wait that long) my boyfriend made a boiled meal, complete with corned beef and cabbage and potatoes and carrots. We had some left over veggies and plenty of broth – which we saved, being forward-thinking folks – and tonight I made soup. For a second time!

Last time, I used some soup broth to make rice, but this time I used to to make shells. Who doesn’t love shells?! The beauty of it is that when you’re done cooking the pasta, you don’t even have to strain it – you just pour the whole kit ‘n’ kaboodle back into the pot. It’s a lazy cook’s dream.

Another change was that this time we had carrots – yay! – and I also used cut-up chicken breasts instead of shredded thighs. I left the chicken pieces pretty big, figuring if chunky veggies were delicious chunky meat probably would be too. Wrong. The big chunks are a little dry, so next time I’ll probably cut them smaller.

Again: IT WAS SO GOOD! And I don’t even care that it’s warming up outside and you’re not “supposed” to be making hearty soups anymore. It’s still cold in the apartment and so…it’s still hearty soup season here! Three cheers for hearty soup!

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