Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Italian Chicken Soup

Since Thanksgiving feasts are just a couple days away, I wanted to fix something for dinner that was much lighter. Plus, it's really cold here in upstate New York, and a slow-cooked, warm soup seemed perfect!

I found the base recipe for my soup at The Crepes of Wrath blog. It didn't take too many changes to make her recipe for Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore carb-free and a little more soupy. First, I substituted chicken breast for fatty chicken thighs. I omitted the flouring and browning of the chicken before adding it to the crockpot. Since I wasn't going for a true cacciatore, I didn't need the crispy skin/breading. For the broth, I first left out the wine (which contains fruit sugars that are incompatible with a strict carb-free diet), and then added more chicken stock and a little water. It makes an incredibly easy and delicious soup that can be thrown into a crock pot in the morning and savored in the evening!

Italian Chicken Soup
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 lb of mushrooms (I used about 3/4 of a pre-sliced package)
  • 1 green pepper, sliced (I left this out because I am currently not a fan of green peppers)
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (can increase if you like a stronger garlic flavor)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced (I really like carrot in this, and I needed to get rid of an old bag of carrots, so I used 4 small carrots)
  • 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Layer in the bottom of a 5 quart crockpot with vegetables on bottom (carrot, onion, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms). Then add the can of tomatoes and seasonings (red pepper flake, basil, parsley, salt & pepper). Top with the chicken and then the broth and water.
2. Cover, then cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
3. Shred chicken with forks before serving.

Carb options
This soup would not only go great with traditional crackers (multigrain Clubs by Keebler-- yum), but tonight for dinner, I made a single serving of polenta and put it in the bottom of the hubby's soup bowl. This gave the soup a creamy texture and the added deliciousness of polenta!

Final Note
We are leaving tomorrow to visit my husband's family for the Thanksgiving holiday, so I won't be able to post again until the beginning of next week. I hope everyone has a wonderful time of friends and family, laughter, joy and love! Enjoy the feasts!

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