Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Frugal Feast Soup

Here's a way to eat well without busting your budget.


  • 1 chicken leg quarter (thigh with drumstick attached)
  • a half a cup of sliced onion
  • a small bunch of green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery ribs, split down the middle and chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper or 2 medium banana peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2-3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped*
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 - 14 oz. cans of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables
  • a half cup of long grain brown rice(not instant)
  • one and a half teaspoons of Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil of your choice( olive, corn, etc.)
*It's best to use disposable plastic or latex gloves when handling and slicing jalapeños. Discard them when the slicing and dicing is done being careful not to put your bare hand on the outside of either glove when removing them.

    1. In a 3-4 quart pot saute the sliced onion for about two minutes over medium high heat.
    1. Add the green onions, celery, pepper, jalapeños and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes more.
    2. Add the chicken broth, frozen vegetables, brown rice and Italian seasoning and stir them together.
    3. Remove the skin from the chicken and place the leg quarter in the pot.
    4. Cover the pot and bring the contents to a boil.
    5. Once the contents have reached a boil, lower the heat to simmer level and leave to simmer for two hours.
    6. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, carefully remove the chicken from the pot to a bowl or other suitable dish. Then separate the meat from the bones using a knife and fork. Be Careful! The chicken will be quite hot.
    7. Return the meat to the soup pot, stir and then simmer for about ten more minutes.
    8. Season to taste and enjoy!

      As you might imagine, there are an almost infinite number of possible variations of this recipe. During the growing season, I substitute fresh vegetables from the garden such as summer squash for one or both cups of the frozen vegetables. It can also be made with two chicken leg quarters instead of one.

      And if you're looking for a use for the remaining meat on the rotisserie chicken that's sitting in the refrigerator, you can slice/shave off as much as you like and stir it in after the soup has simmered for two hours.

      I have never found it necessary to add salt to this soup. Though your taste buds may tell you otherwise.

      If you want to simplify preparation, try leaving out the celery, sweet pepper and green onions. At the end you can season with a couple of teaspoons of a non-salt spice blend.

      It's all up to your taste buds and imagination. Cooking is after all an art. And art is in the eye, or in this case, taste buds of the beholder. Don't be afraid to experiment.

      A heavy crusted, chewy bread goes well with this soup and really completes the meal. Bon appetit!


No comments: