Chicken soup is such a versatile food. It is good when you're sick, but just as good when you're well - and unlike many kinds of soup and stews, it is not just cold weather food.
One of my favorite restaurant chicken soups is Carrabba's Spicy Sicilian Chicken Soup. After much experimentation, I have created my own version. Sometimes I like to mix it up, so I have added variation ideas in the "Tips" section.
Spicy Chicken Vegetable Soup with Pasta
3 celery ribs
2 medium carrots, peeled
1 small yellow onion (or 1/2 large)
1 medium potato, peeled
1 (14 oz) can stewed & peeled tomatoes
1 chicken breast
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped (or 1 tsp minced)
4 qts chicken broth
1 tbsp creole seasoning
2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp fresh rosemary, removed from stem
1 tsp fresh sage, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, remove from stem
2 cups pasta cooked separately (any pasta - I prefer elbow or shells)
Dice celery, carrots, onion, potato into 1/4 inch pieces (or smaller). Chop canned tomatoes into 1/4 inch pieces (or smaller), reserving juice. (Can also be done when shredding chicken later)
Place vegetables, tomatoes with their juice, herbs, and vinegar, garlic into crockpot.
Add whole chicken breast.
Add chicken stock, creole seasoning, and pepper.
Cook on high for at least 3 hours, can be left on low all day or all night.
Remove chicken to cool. Use forks to shred chicken. Place shredded chicken back into the crockpot. Stir.
Boil pasta separately.
Spoon a small portion of pasta into individual bowls, top with chicken soup.
- Serves 2 as a meal. Serves 4 as an appetizer.
- Best served on the day after making.
- Can be cooked in a stock pot instead of crockpot - Bring to boil over low heat, partially cover pot and simmer 2 hours (may need to skim foam).
- Mash some of the vegetables before serving (or before refrigerating) to make soup thicker.
- Adding pasta directly to soup pan will cause the pasta to become too soft when storing overnight. It is better to add pasta to individual bowls. But on the second day, you can cook pasta in soup being warmed, or separately.
- Bell pepper can be added to soup, but it will slightly change the flavor. I prefer red, orange, or yellow peppers. Green changes the flavor too much.
- Other vegetables can also be added: zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower, etc (smaller chopped the better).
- Creole seasoning substitution: salt, red pepper (crushed), black pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder.
- Poultry herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme) can be omitted.
Deedra Abboud is the founder of the Global Institute of Solution Oriented Leadership, a "rising tide raising all boats" resource on the art and science of finding solutions, not fault - at work, at home, and in the community. She is an author, keynote speaker, lawyer, and frequent media resource. When she's not helping clients or speaking at organization events, she's traveling the world. At last count, she's been to over 15 countries including Bahrain, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.