Chicken Vegetable Soup
by LiWBF Food Contributor Shelia King
I think we’re all ready for a break from the snow, right? I’m more than ready for that early spring the groundhog predicted here in North Carolina a few weeks ago. Guess I’ll have to stay patient for a little while longer, anyway. Nevertheless, enjoying a little comfort food while we’re snowed in doesn’t sound half bad. There is nothing more comforting on a cold day in North Carolina than a bowl of hot soup. Chicken vegetable soup is easy to make yet provides a hardy meal when served with rice, crackers or fresh bread. Also, soup creates a great way to use up small quantities of left over frozen or fresh vegetables.
① Add 8 cups of water, one can of chicken or vegetable broth, 2 cans of chopped tomatoes including juice and 1 can of tomato paste to a large pot. Bring to a boil. Once combined and the liquids begin to boil, change heat setting to medium.
② Add 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper seeds and 2 bay leaves.
③ Place 1 pound of raw chicken breast chopped into bite-sized pieces into the pot and let it cook for 40 minutes or until tender.
④ Add 1 cup each of various frozen or fresh chopped vegetables such as baby carrots, onions, red potatoes, celery, corn and extra fine green beans. Cook soup until potatoes are done.
In case you are wondering why I just don’t dump a package of mixed frozen vegetables into the pot… the quality/taste is not the same as fresh or frozen vegetables.
⑤ Add additional seasoning (optional).
⑥ Remove bay leaves before serving.