Sunday, October 2, 2011

" I'm Sick" Soup

I invented this soup off the cuff because I had a houseful of people who each in turn informed me that they were either sick or getting sick.  The cold day and rainy weather added to the sense of malaise.  The consensus was it was definately a soup day.  I had already made up a batch of Irish Oat rolls anyway so I thought they were right and a big pot of Homemade soup was just what the Dr ordered.  I had not been to the store lately so the cupboards were a bit bare...especially bare of fresh veggies...but I was not going to let that stop me from making a super healthy, hearty, cold-care soup. I chose chicken stock (always great for cold care) as well as beans and lentils for protein and a nice heartiness. The spices I chose besides being delicious and slighty spicey (great for stuffy noses) also have many health benefits. Garam Masala is an Indian spice blend that everyone should try. Garam ("hot") and masala ("mixture") is a blend of dry-roasted, ground spices, such as black pepper, cumin, cloves, and cardamom, bay, nutmeg, coriander..ect.
Here is what I came up got rave reviews at my house...I was handed a notepad and told to write it down before I forgot what I put in it! Feel free to add whatever veggies you like or have on hand. Fresh veggies should be sauted with the onions to soften..canned or frozen veggies should be added closer to the end (except for the tomatoes and beans).

I'm Sick Soup

2 boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 large onion diced
3 tbl olive oil
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup sherry (optional)
1 can black beans rinsed
1 can sweet potato puree
1/4 cup red lentils
1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 tea garlic powder
1/2 tea garam masala (an indian spice blend)
1/8 tea cayenne (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups uncooked pasta shells (or elbows or the like)
salt and pepper

In a large soup pot or sauce pan...add olive oil and onion (or other fresh veggies if using) season chicken with salt and pepper and garlic powder then toss in pot with the onion. When chicken is cooked through add stock,sherry and lentils. cook 15 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, garam masala and cayenne and simmer 10 minutes...add uncooked pasta simmer until pasta in al dente.  Serve up with a biscuits, rolls or crackers and cheese.

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