Saturday, January 11, 2014

Italian Spinach Soup

It's cold and rainy outside and the Seahawks were playing today. After all those game-day snacks, dinner had to be simple and healthy, so I made some Italian Spinach Soup. It's really just chicken soup with carrots, tomatoes, onions, garlic, Cannellini Beans and fresh spinach.  What makes it Italian is the addition of Basil and Parmesan Cheese.  I didn't have any fresh Basil but I did have some frozen pesto so I used that instead and I will give you both versions. I also made the broth from scratch using chicken drumsticks on sale, but this soup could just have easily been made with canned chicken broth and cut up chicken breasts or leftover roast chicken.  It's super fast if you make it this way and still very fast if you make it all from scratch.  It tasted really good after all those chips and only needed a bit of garlic bread to go with it.  This is a lovely light soup that you just know is good for you too!

8 chicken drumsticks (or 2 cups of cut up raw chicken breast or cooked chicken)
10 cups of water or 9 cups of chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 can Cannellini Beans
2 carrots, stem removed, peeled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup Pesto or 1/4 cup julienned Basil and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
3 handfuls of fresh spinach

Serve with more fresh grated Parmesan Cheese and Garlic Bread

Put chicken drumsticks in a large pot and add water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook for one hour.  Take the chicken out of the pot and let cool, then remove meat and discard the bones and cartilage.  Cut into bite size pieces.  Strain broth and season to taste with salt and pepper (I usually add about 3 teaspoons of salt).  Put broth back into the pot and add the garlic, onions, carrots, tomatoes and Cannellini Beans.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until carrots are tender.  Add in the Pesto or Basil and Parmesan, Spinach and  and chicken.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serve with extra Parmesan Cheese and Garlic Bread.

Five Element Analysis

Soup is a Water food so that element is covered and the Cannellini Beans add to it as well. Chicken and Chicken Broth belong to the Wood Element and the Spinach adds even more.  The cherry Tomatoes bring in the Fire Element and the Carrots contribute the Earth Element.  The Basil, Parmesan Cheese, Onion and Garlic provide the Metal Element so this becomes a very balanced little bowl of soup!  

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