Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rainy Day Soup

Today dawned cold, windy and rainy here in San Diego, and it was one of those days where you just want to snuggle under the covers and let the day go by.  I have been suffering from allergies for the past week, with thick pollen coating everything here, my sore throat was in need of some serious comforting soup. 
I hopped into the car when there was a break in the rain and headed to Specialty Produce to pick up a few goodies for the soup, and then headed to Mona Lisa for some fresh Italian egg noodles for the soup and a loaf of crusty bread. 

Rainy Day Chicken and Noodle Soup
Serves 8

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 medium carrots, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
8 cups chicken broth 
One bunch Swiss chard, stalks removed, and cut into thin ribbons
rind from Parmigiano Reggiano cut into cubes
1/4 pound cooked pasta (about 1 cup cooked)

In a large saucepan, or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat, and add the onion, thyme, carrot, and celery, sauteing the vegetables until the onion is softened.  

 Add the chicken, and cook until the chicken is browned on all sides. 

Add the tomatoes, and saute for another 2 minutes, until the liquid in the pan has absorbed. 

Add the broth, Swiss chard, and rind from the Parmigiano, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the chard is tender. 

Cook's Note:  Always cook pasta before adding it to soups, otherwise it will soak up all the broth.
Instead of pasta, cooked farro is another alternative.  
Do-Ahead:  This soup is really better the second day, and can be cooled and refrigerated for up to 4 days.  Before serving, stir in the noodles, and bring to serving temperature.  Serve the soup garnished with grated Parmigiano if desired. 

Of course, no one would think from these photos that it was raining or cold here today; that's San Diego, almost perfect weather!   
Enjoy your evening!

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