Friday, September 24, 2021

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

A small batch, quick and delicious soup made with cooked chicken and chicken stock, loads of vegetables, and tiny shell pasta.
A small batch, quick and delicious soup made with cooked chicken and chicken stock, loads of vegetables, and tiny shell pasta.

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

We've had a nice, though likely temporary, reprieve from the heat and humidity these last couple of days. It's so nice when the oppressive heat goes away even for a bit and we can breathe a little easier, but... it is still September. We have lots of summer still to go around in the Deep South!

This week, we settled down in a roadside chair, for what was a gorgeous afternoon near downtown to watch the homecoming parade and my beautiful granddaughter on the cheerleader float. Her mama was a cheerleader too with the same school, so I'm sure it's quite exciting for them both, but she's growing up entirely too fast for me.

Seems just yesterday she was a toddler and then starting elementary school and riding the bus to Grandma's house with her older brother (who is now already a teenager x2), until mama and daddy got home from work. This last year and a half has taken away so much of our grandparent time together, as it sadly has for many of us.

The weather was fantastic and as the sun settled past the huge oak trees, I found myself getting a little chill even! Fortunately, I had grabbed a light sweater on the way out the door. I'm a big soup lover and at the first signs of lower humidity and cooler temperatures like this, I'm ready.

Homemade soups are the best, but hey, while they may not hold a candle to homemade, I keep a few canned favorites in the pantry too, for those days when you just want soup, but no time to make it. That actually was the beginning of this recipe!

I've been using grocery delivery as much as possible through this time, and I had ordered a chicken noodle soup that was out of stock, so a substitute was made. What I received was a chicken and vegetable soup that had little shell pasta in it, rather than noodles. It was really good, but I immediately thought, "I bet I can do better" and set out to make my own version. This is it.

As mentioned before, I usually have a few packs of already cooked chicken, or what I call Ready Chicken, in my freezer, thanks to on-sale whole chickens. For this soup I'm using one of those, and I'm also using a commercial chicken stock to make this quick, my favorite brand being Kitchen Basics.


It's the richest and most flavorful for an off-the-shelf chicken stock. Having both of these on hand, make for a quick and easy soup.

As always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step-by-step pictures below.

Here's how to make my Chicken and Vegetable Soup.

We're gonna start with some butter! You can certainly sauté your veggies in olive oil too, but I really wanted the richness that butter brings. Melt that up in a soup pot to sauté your vegetables.


Sauté the onion, bell pepper and celery in the butter about 5 minutes, stirring often.


Add garlic.


Meanwhile, get the potatoes cubed up and try to get them all in a uniform size so they'll cook evenly.


I often use a quick chopper for tasks like this.



Add flour to the veggies.


Cook and stir the flour in with the vegetables another couple minutes.


Then, gradually begin to stir in the chicken stock.


Add tomatoes, potatoes and seasonings, bring to a boil, reduce and let cook for 15 minutes. I'm using regular diced tomatoes, but Rotel would be excellent.


Add pasta, chicken and the frozen mixed vegetables. I'm using small shells so they are cooked very quickly. If you use a different style pasta, you'll need to add those a little earlier, depending on how long they need to cook.


Add Creole seasoning and turmeric; bring up to a boil, then reduce to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are cooked through and tender. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed, but remember, it matters whether you used a salted butter and a salted stock! Always taste, add a little, then taste again and repeat as needed.



Ready to serve. Now, although this is a smaller batch soup, if you're not going to consume all of the soup at one time, cook the pasta separately. When pasta is cooked into soup it absorbs a lot of the liquid causing a thicker soup for leftovers. Cooking it separately means you can then spoon pasta into the serving bowls and top with the soup.


This is a wonderful soup. I hope you enjoy it!




Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Yield: About 4 to 6 Servings
Author: Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 45 Min
A small batch, quick and delicious soup made with cooked chicken and chicken stock, loads of vegetables, and tiny shell pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped sweet or yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet bell pepper, any color
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 (15-1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 cup uncooked small shell pasta, cooked
  • 3 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 tablespoon Creole seasoning (like Zatarain's), or to taste, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric powder, optional
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Sauté the onion, bell pepper and celery in the butter about 5 minutes, stirring often; stir in flour and cook another couple minutes.
  2. Gradually stir in the chicken stock until incorporated.
  3. Add tomatoes, potatoes and seasonings, bring to a boil, reduce and let cook for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Add pasta, chicken, mixed vegetables, Creole seasoning and turmeric; simmer for another 10 minutes.
  5. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.

Notes:

If desired, cook pasta separately, drain and set aside. Spoon pasta into individual bowls and ladle soup on top. Substitute diced tomatoes with diced tomatoes with green chilies (like Rotel) if you like.


For raw chicken: Season 6 chicken breast tenders, or two large boneless, skinless breasts, with seasoning salt, sauté in olive oil until cooked through. Also may poach. My Ready Chicken is an excellent poaching method.

Soup,Potatoes,Mixed Vegetables,Chicken,Chicken Soup,Diced Tomatoes,
Soup
American, Southern
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