Monday, August 10, 2009

Soup Kitchen

Over a year ago my wonderful Sister In Law made her version of Good Taste's delicate and light Italian-style risoni soup, and I've been meaning to make it ever since.

The limiting factor has been the availability of good-looking, fresh fennel bulbs at a time when I am in a soup-making mood. Or, more to the point, when the boys free me up long enough to make soup. Today those stars aligned, and here is my version.

Chicken-vegie-risoni soup
(Adapted from

1 tbs olive oil
1 chicken thigh fillet, cut to bite-size pieces (to make it a bit more filling than the original)
1 adolescent fennel bulb, ends trimmed, finely chopped (it was advertised as "baby", but was a bit closer to adulthood than this)
2 medium carrots and 2 medium zucchinis, chopped into risoni-sized dice
3 crushed/chopped garlic cloves
1.5 L chicken stock (which today happened to be a luscious homemade broth)
1/3 cup risoni
1 tsp dried tarragon
Handfuls of fresh parsley (only for the reason that my garden is being overrun by self-seeded Italian parsley, and I am taking any excuse to use it up)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Saute the chicken and vegetables in the oil over medium heat for 5 mins to soften the vegetables and begin to cook the chicken without browning. Add the stock and bring to a boil, then add the risoni and tarragon and simmer until the risoni is cooked (about 10 mins). Place parsley (in my case, as much as the consumers will tolerate) in each bowl, and ladle hot soup over to serve.

Too easy! Even so, Little Bro was able to interrupt half way, leaving my husband holding the wooden spoon, and causing me to forget to add the recommended green peas and to take a photo of the finished product. It probably serves about 4 adults; in our case the leftovers will be turned into a less liquid mix for the boys' dinner, with me drinking the remaining broth.

It's a simple starter recipe that would bring out the flavours of many vegetable combinations. I'm planning to repeat it in summer with home-grown zucchinis, carrots, and peas or beans. Can't wait!

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