Monday, November 8, 2010

Chicken and Artichoke Soup

This colder weather (that I love) has me wanting stews and soups every night. Warm and cozy...comforting...glass of wine...good bread...losing focus here...

This soup seems to have a lot of stuff to do but it is surprisingly fairly quick to throw together. It is also a great way to use up any chicken leftover from the night before.




YOU WILL NEED: .

olive oil

1/2 package of bacon (yes bacon - do not skip this for this particular soup)

2 carrots - chopped about a half inch in size

2 stalks of celery - chopped as close as possible to size of carrots

1 onion - chopped as well

4 cloves of garlic - minced

about 3 cups shredded or chopped chicken

about 6 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)

1 package frozen artichoke hearts - thawed and chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 or 3 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

fresh basil

a little garlic powder (this seems to give the whole thing a very nice smoky flavor)

salt

pepper

1 can white kidney beans (optional - but recommended)



TO DO:

In a dutch oven or soup pot add a little olive oil and crisp the bacon. Remove and let drain on a paper towel - chop up either large or small (my family likes to find big chunks of bacon in here so I leave the pieces pretty good size) then set aside. 
Back to your pot, remove "most" of the bacon grease. To the little bit of bacon grease left, add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook everything until the carrots are just softened. Then add the chopped chicken - add salt and pepper. Cook all together for another five minutes or so. Add the tomato paste and mix to coat everything in the pot. FOOD 263


Now stir in the chicken stock, about 1/2 cup of chopped basil, thyme sprigs, a couple dashes of garlic powder and the bay leaf. Bring all to a boil then bring heat to medium low and cover - let simmer about 20 minutes (maybe thirty) Add artichokes, white kidney beans and toss the bacon back in - cook for another 10 to 15 minutes more. 
FOOD 264


Remove thyme sprigs and the bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with more fresh basil and serve  
FOOD 269

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