Friday, May 13, 2016

Italian Chicken and Pasta Soup

I made a soup two weeks ago in Germany that I really liked, but I didn't get a chance to post it because I didn't have reliable internet at the hotel where I was staying afterwards. This soup is based on a Pasta dish that I once had at California Pizza Kitchen that consisted of Pasta of course, with a sauce of Olive Oil, Chicken Breasts, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Broccoli. They just happened to be ingredients that I had on hand at my friend's house although I didn't feel like pasta. Luckily, they also turned into a lovely soup! The base of the soup was Chicken Broth and I added in some Cherry Tomatoes too to make the broth and little heartier. I also put in more of the traditional soup vegetables - Celery, Carrot and Onions as well as some Garlic. I cooked the vegetables briefly in Olive Oil before adding them to the broth. My only other recommendation is that if you are not going to eat it all at once, it is a good idea to cook the Pasta (I used Gluten Free Rotini) separate from the soup and then add it to the soup when you decide to eat it, letting it warm up a bit if it's the next day, otherwise the Pasta gets a bit soft when left in. The soup was fresh and light and was especially good with a bit of chopped fresh Basil and a sprinkling of Parmesan Cheese.  

Italian Chicken and Pasta Soup

8 cups Chicken Broth (preferably homemade)
1 pound Chicken Breasts, cut into small chunks
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, minced
1 large Garlic Clove, minced
2 Carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 stalks of Celery, trimmed and cut into small pieces
2 cups Broccoli Florets
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes (packed in oil and drained), cut into small pieces
1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes, cut into small pieces
1/2 pound of Rotini pasta (Gluten Free made with Corn and Rice) cooked al Dente in boiling water and drained

Optional Topping:  Basil leaves, sliced thinly (Chiffonade) and grated Parmesan Cheese 

Heat Chicken Broth in a large soup pot until boiling and then turn down to a simmer. Add in the Sun Dried Tomatoes and Cherry Tomatoes. In a large frying pan, heat Olive Oil and add in the Onion, Garlic, Carrots, Celery and Broccoli. Cook until Onions are translucent and the other vegetables are softened.  Add into the Soup, turn the heat up higher to return to a boil and then lower heat again and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.  Then add in Chicken Broth and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Add pasta to the individual bowls and spoon soup over.  Sprinkle with Basil and Parmesan if desired.

Five Element Analysis

Soup is always considered part of the Water Element, but this soup is particularly Woody as the Chicken and Chicken Broth belong to the Wood Element as does the Olive Oil, Broccoli and Celery. The Sun Dried Tomatoes and Cherry Tomatoes contribute the Fire Element. The Carrots and Gluten Free Pasta, made of Corn, add in the Earth Element and the Garlic, Onions, Basil and Parmesan contribute the Metal Element as does the Rice flour in the Pasta. This then, is a very balanced Five Element soup!

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