Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chicken & Artichoke Soup

Every time I look at my little blue Le Creuset French oven, I feel that I must use it. Usually, the recipe is of the kitchen sink variety. Sometimes it works. Sometimes not so much. Recently, though, it worked. I dug through my cupboards with all their emergency kit cans of things I can’t live without in the case of an earthquake or nuclear war (sardines, turkey chile, you know, the essentials) and foraged up a beautiful soup for autumn. Because I didn’t measure, I’m going to wing it here … just add whatever ingredients I’ve listed to suit your own taste.

Chicken & Artichoke Soup


- 1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cubed (large)
- 1 can artichoke hearts, unseasoned, chopped large (preferably from Trader Joe’s)
- 6 stalks of celery
- 1 can white beans (preferably S&W)
- 2 yellow onions, sliced (thick half rounds)
- 6 shitake mushrooms, sliced
- Handful of pitted Kalamata olives
- 1 box vegetable broth (again, I like Trader Joe’s)
- Bundle of thyme, tied in string
- Sherry
- Red wine vinegar
- Olive oil


1) In your little Le Creuset, sauté the onions and celery in olive oil

2) In a frying pan, brown in the chicken in olive oil; when done add to Le Creuset

3) In same frying pan in chicken flavoring, sauté mushrooms; when done add to Le Creuset

4) Add vegetable broth, beans, artichoke, and olives

5) Bury thyme at bottom of the soup

6) Splash in sherry and vinegar (up to ¼ cup each)

7) Bring to a boil, then simmer for however long you want … the soup was done in about an hour, but really good and flavorful after three.

8) Remove thyme and serve.

I like to make a big batch of this, then put half in small batches in the freezer, so I can heat some up whenever I like.

I made a variation on this about a month ago, which was really terrific. Instead of yellow onions, I used one large red onion. Instead of white beans, I used two cans of Trader Joe’s Tuscan bean medley. And I also added 2 chicken/cilantro sausages (fried and sliced), a ½ cup of Trader Joe’s red wine and olive oil vinaigrette, and about ¼-½ cup balsamic vinegar.