Every year I like to make a new soup recipe that celebrates the wonderfully fresh produce of Spring. I’ve said many times that I eat soup year round and I mean it! It’s so comforting and healthy…hmmm…I wonder who invented soup? I’m going to have to google that and I’ll let you know by the end of this post.
Meanwhile, here’s what I made for you this week….
Last year’s soup was a tomato based vegetarian dish so I decided to use some of the same veggies but switch it up and add some chicken, fresh dill, pasta and the ingredient that puts it over the top – caramelized leeks. These tasty little rounds of ‘leek bacon’ (a reader called them that when he saw it on Instagram) are perfect for soups because they are milder and sweeter than your average onion yet still have that punch. The inspiration for this soup came from Country Living. They have amazing soups and salads on their site!
The only tricky thing is cleaning the leeks because dirt can get trapped between their many layers. A good way to clean leeks is first to take off the dark green top part (right above the light green part, where it starts to angle away from the main body) and then soak the leeks in water for about 10 minutes and then rinse them. This’ll usually do it.
According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, “With their unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, the allium vegetables belong in your diet on a regular basis. There’s research evidence for including at least one serving of an allium vegetable in your meal plan every day. If you’re choosing leeks, make your individual portion 1/2 cup or greater, and try to include at least one cup of chopped leeks in your recipes”.
I used rotisserie chicken for this because after all, who has time these days? In my opinion, a rotisserie chicken can be considered an 8 out of 10 on the paleo scale because the ingredients on the label listed some preservatives (sodium phosphate) but no hydrogenated oils or terribly offensive ingredients. This shortcut will allow you to have this soup ready in 30 minutes with only 10 minutes of prep. Gotta love it!
Ok, so after a little googling, here’s what I found out about soup from The Food Timeline….
“Food historians tell us the history of soup is probably as old as the history of cooking. The act of combining various ingredients in a large pot to create a nutritious, filling, easily digested, simple to make/serve food was inevitable. This made it the perfect choice for both sedentary and travelling cultures, rich and poor, healthy people and invalids. Soup (and stews, pottages, porridges, gruels, etc.) evolved according to local ingredients and tastes. New England chowder, Spanish gazpacho, Russian borscht, Italian minestrone, French onion, Chinese won ton and Campbell’s tomato…are all variations on the same theme.
Soups were easily digested and were prescribed for invalids since ancient times. The modern restaurant industry is said to be based on soup. Restoratifs (wheron the word “restaurant” comes) were the first items served in public restaurants in 18th century Paris. Broth [Pot-au-feu], bouillion, and consomme entered here. Classic French cuisine generated many of the soups we know today.”
So the next time you’re dining out, you can tell your friends that you’re all there because of ‘soup’! I knew there was a reason I loved it. Cheers, everyone
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 leeks, chopped into thin rings
- freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt
- 7 cups organic chicken broth
- 1 clove garlic (I used 2 but most would prefer just 1)
- 1 1/2 cups wide noodles (gluten-free are easy to find)
- 3 cups sliced rotisserie chicken
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1.5 cups asparagus, cut on the diagonal
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add leeks in single layer, keeping rings intact. Season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until golden – about 10 – 12 minutes. Careful – they can cook quickly if you’re not watching.
- In a 5 quart pot, bring stock and garlic to a boil. Add noodles and cook until al dente. About 10 minutes. Toss garlic away.
- Add most of the leeks, saving a few for the garnish. Add chicken, peas, asparagus and dill, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish each serving with additional leeks and dill.