What do you think of when you think winter? Snow, cuddling, fires, hot cocoa and SOUP! I have been craving hot, warm comforting soup lately, well technically not soup, more stew, but something hot and warm and comforting. All day yesterday I scoured the internet to try to find delicious, flavorful, healthy stew recipes for me to make! I saved a whole lot of recipes in my bookmarks but the one that appealed to me the most at the time was Kath's Magnificent Minestrone. The idea of roasting the vegetables separately in the oven and then adding it to the rest of the mix was so unique. The soup looked hearty and thick and was just what I was craving! I took the recipe and put a OneFitFoodie twist on it! This stew was SO delicious and I have so much leftovers which I am psyched about! I have dinners for the week now--thats what I love about making big batches of comforting soup!
Fresh herbs were the key to this soup! If it calls for 1 T, I used double. In my mind, there can never be TOO many fresh herbs in a recipe! I bought some fresh oregano and basil for this soup. Look how georgeous they look! I go to the most amazing fruit/veggie/specialty food store called Russo's in Watertown, MA. If you are local to the Boston area, you must experience Russo's!
Instead of the diced tomatoes that the recipe called for, I grabbed some crushed tomatoes. I guess I didn't really pay that much attenton to whether the can said diced or crushed, but it still turned out FABULOUS despite the fact the recipe called for diced!
The other key to this recipe (I added chicken to it--my additions are at the end when I typed up the whole recipe) was CHICKEN ON THE BONE. I don't know what it is, but skinless chicken on the bone has a drastically different flavor than skinless chicken breast off the bone. It is so much more flavorful and tender. Yes, it takes a few more minutes to get it off the bone, but in my mind, its beyond worth it!
De-boned chicken breasts.
When the tomatoes, spices and herbs came to a boil, I added the chicken breast (which I diced into 1/2-1 inch pieces)
I used swiss chard (instead of the spinach that the recipe called for originally) I think swiss chard has a more nutty and tangy flavor that gives the soup a whole other level of depth. I also added the swiss chard DIRECTLY to the pot, whereas the original recipe had us pour the soup over the spinach.
The veggies were roasted in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.
They are added directly to the pot of goodness
Amazingly delicious and exactly what I was craving. The chicken was tender and perfectly cooked and the veggies had that roasted bite, yet blended beautifully with the flavors of the soup. I highly recommened this stew for a cold winter day!
Chicken and Chickpea Hearty Minestrone Soup Adapted from Katheatsrealfood. (The changes I made are in red)
- 2 zucchini, diced
- 2 carrots, diced (I omitted the carrots)
- 1 celery stalk, diced (I used 3 stalks)
- 2 cups fresh green beans, bite-sized
- 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups veggie broth (I used chicken broth-its what I had on hand)
- 28 oz can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes ( I used no salt added organic crushed tomatoes)
- 15 oz can great northern beans, drained and rinsed (I used chickpeas)
- 1 clove garlic or 1 tsp Garlic Gold crunchies
- 1 heaping tsp dried herbs of your choice, such as oregano and basil ( I used 2 TBSP fresh oregano and basil)
- 1.5 cups whole wheat shells, dry (Omitted)
- 1.5 lbs skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-1 inch pieces <-- ADDED FOR PROTEIN!
- 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1/4 tsp turmeric (Omitted, I didn't have any so I used extra herbs)
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- 3 cups baby spinach (I used swiss chard)
- Toss first four veggie ingredients in olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast at 400* for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine broth, tomatoes, beans, garlic and herbs and bring to a boil. (I added my diced up chicken breast at this point)
- Add pasta and olives. Cover and lightly boil until pasta is tender. ( I didn't use pasta so I just added the olives at this point)
- Pour in roasted veggies. (I added 1.5 C swiss chard at this point) Cook for 1 minute more.
- Season with turmeric, red pepper and black pepper.
- Let everything sit with the cover on for 30 minutes-1 hour (can do less, but I like to let it sit for a while for the flavors to come together)
spinach(1.5 C swiss chard) into bowls and pour soup on top.
- Garnish with parmesan
I also had an interesting time roasting my first acorn squash this weekend! I have been on the lookout for Kabocha squash which I cannot find anywhere! It seems squashes are dissapearing fast around this time of year. I grabbed a beautiful looking acorn squash instead!
I sliced it in half (raw) which is SO much easier than slicing a raw speghetti squash in half!
All I did was follow the directions on the sticker that came on the squash! (minus adding butter etc)
Scooped out the seeds
Timer set for 35 minutes (it was heating up to 400 degrees)
Swigged some Kombucha (been so long!)
And got making my salad dressing for the salad I was going to enjoy with teh squash. I took some random ingredients to make quite a tasty dressing!
- handful frozen blueberries
- 1 T rice wine vinegar
- 1 t truffle oil <-- WOW so good!
- 1 tsp organic fig jam
Can we talk about the color combination here? Beautiful!
After 400 degrees and being broiled for about 2 minutes they came out perfectly tender!
I diced up 1/4 of the squash on my salad
As you can see I am experimenting with different foods, carbs, proteins and fats. I think its very important to the human body to not only keep it guessing with different exercise, but also different foods. Your body will become used to eating the same thing every single day, so to change it up once in a while will not only satisfy YOU but also reep many benefits for your body!
Question Of The Day: What is one new food you have recently incorporated into your daily eats?