Italian Chicken And Vegetable Soup
- 6 medium red potatoes, peeled
- 4 carrots, peeled
- 4 chicken breast, skinless
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 4 stalks celery
- 1 onion
- parmesan cheese, grated for garnish
- 5 - 6 sprigs thyme
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 1 tsp. basil, chopped
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 2 qts. water
- 2-inch wedge cabbage
- 1 leek
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 tsp. black peppercorn
Drain and rinse the canned kidney beans.
Begin by cooking the chicken breasts in 2 quarts of water in a large stockpot. When the breasts are done remove them from the broth and set aside. At this point you can skim off any fat in the broth, but I usually just leave it. Remove the broth from the stovetop while you wash and prepare the vegetables.
Place the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage in the chicken broth. These vegetables should be cut just small enough to fit into the stockpot.
Coarsely chop the onion, parsley, leek and celery. Usually just the white part of the leek is used, but you can add a little of the green leaves for extra color. Add these vegetables to the stockpot along with 1 tablespoon of salt and a spice bag filled with the garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme. Tie the spices in cheese cloth if you don't have a spice bag.
If you don't have enough broth, add cold water to the stockpot to cover the vegetables.
Return the stockpot to the stovetop and bring the water to a boil. Simmer for 1 hour.
While the soup is simmering, chop the tomatoes and tear the chicken breasts into bite size pieces.
After about on hour of cooking, the whole vegetables will be soft. Crush them with a potato masher.
Add the beans, chopped tomatoes, chicken, basil and olive oil to the soup.
Simmer the soup for another hour.
Remove the spice bag and serve the soup hot topped with freshly grated Parmesan.
Time to prepare: 1 hour, 30 minutes.