Every week it seems that the variety of fruits and vegetables available at the farmers' market is expanding. Asparagus is probably six weeks away. When the ground temperature reaches 65° in Fresno, we all get lucky. When it warms up a little more, the asparagus may grow as much as four inches overnight. Talk about amazing life force.
For now, hot soup is still perfect for dinner. Having grown up on soups from red cans, I made this updated version of an old classic with some of the ingredients from our farmers' market. Cipollini onions are great in this soup. Look for carrots at the market with the green tops still attached. The fresh green leaves assure you that the carrots weren't picked a month ago, then peeled and made into small uniform-sized pieces and packaged. Do your own double-blind controlled study at home and taste the difference.
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 cup diced onion of choice
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 large handfuls cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 Tbsp Smart Balance or real butter
- Bite-sized chicken chunks from 2 to 3 breasts
- 4 oz fettucine
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper
In a soup pot, sauté the onion, carrot, and celery in the olive oil to soften a bit. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about five minutes. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in butter over medium-high heat using a separate skillet. Add the chicken, sautéed mushrooms, lemon juice, noodles and parsley to the soup pot. Bring back to a boil, then simmer for about five minutes until the noodles are al dente. Season with salt and pepper. So simple and so good. I think you will enjoy this.
Use leftovers from an earlier chicken dinner, chicken bought pre-roasted or cooked fresh for the soup. I pan-roasted bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts using my current favorite method of cooking chicken or fish. Preheat the oven to 425°. Rub the chicken with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Using a sauté pan that can fit into your oven, sear the chicken breasts skin-side down over medium heat for about four minutes. Turn and sear another two minutes. Turn the breasts back over skin-side down and finish in the oven for 8 to 15 minutes depending on the size. Be sure to be very careful with the hot handle. I leave oven mitts on the handle as a reminder. Remove the skin and the chicken from the bone when cooled a bit.
Nutrition Information (per serving)