The Big Soup

Serves 6 or more, depending on how generous you get with the ingredients.

This Big Soup could change your life!  It's a rich, hearty, almost-instant dinner with infinite variations.  The base is a chicken soup made with good canned chicken broth, and the standard onion, celery, carrot, and dried herbs. To this basic broth, you add whatever fresh, canned or frozen vegetables, pasta and/or meats you have around.  These last ingredients need only enough cooking time to warm up in the basic soup.  Here's how The Big Soup works for six.

First, make the basic soup from:

2 cans (28 oz) good chicken broth
2 chicken breasts or other parts

1 Kielbasa sausage sliced (see below)
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 sprigs parsley
1 tsp. thyme and/or 1 tsp. dill weed
1 bay leaf

Combine these ingredients in a soup pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, and reduce hear. While the soup is simmering, scavenge your cupboards for any of the following:

1 14 oz. can each of chick-peas, pinto beans

1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz. can corn

8 oz. package each frozen okra and/or asparagus, artichokes, pea pods
2 potatoes, diced
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
¼ lb. sliced mushrooms
¼ cup (or more) rice or pasta
1 pound seasoned sausage (Kielbasa is good)
Cubes of leftover meat

Cooking takes 30 minutes in all. Add fresh vegetables and rice after 15 minutes; canned, frozen ingredients and pasta after 20 minutes. Once done, if you haven’t done it already, pull out the chicken pieces, cool and cut the meat in bite-size bits. Also, remove the bay leaf, if you can find it.  

Source: This recipe came from the predecessor to Metropolitan magazine, called Apartment Life, both of which are now defunct.  It will fill a 5-quart Dutch oven and can easily be expanded.

Copyright © 2001-2012 by The Still Waters Group

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