Thursday, September 10, 2009
Tonight I was torn between whether to post about homemade creamy coleslaw or my favorite cream cheese chocolate chip brownies. And then I realized, I haven't posted an actual meal here all week! I quickly uploaded my pictures for this hearty soup and now I bring you (drumroll, please) Chicken and Egg Soup with Pastina... or in my case ditalini (the smallest pasta I could find in my pantry). This is another recipe that I found in Food Network magazine. I have to give them props, they haven't disappointed me yet!
Begin by heating olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper then cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
The next step requires chicken broth, the juice of one lemon (I used half of a lemon), 1/2 rotisserie chicken, and water.
Add the chicken (that's right, the whole thing!), the broth, 4 cups water and the juice of 1/2 lemon; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the pastina and simmer until the pasta is cooked and the soup thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Then remove the soup from the heat source.
Remove the chicken; when cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the bone and shred into bite-size pieces.
Whisk the juice of the remaining lemon half with 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks in a medium bowl until frothy.
Now it's time to temper the eggs. Gradually whisk a ladleful of the hot soup into the egg mixture.
Stir the warm egg mixture into the soup and return to medium-low heat. Cook until creamy, about 1 minute.
Next I was supposed to add in 2 cups of fresh baby spinach. Does this look fresh to you? Even Popeye would turn up his nose at this garbage. I grabbed the bag out of my refrigerator crisper...or should I say, "rotter". Just look at this spinach! It was gross. All slimy and smelly and starting to turn to a pool of goo. Ick.
Not about to be defeated by this little set-back, I carefully sorted through the spinach and thoroughly washed the leaves that I was able to salvage from the "pool of goo". I think that I ended up with about a cup. Now ya'll would be scared to eat a my house now, wouldn't you? Hey, I hate to waste food. My logic: the heat of the soup would kill the really dangerous bacteria. Ha ha.
Now add in the shredded chicken, spinach, and dill. Check the taste and season with a little more salt and pepper.
Now there's only one thing left to do...dig in! I have to admit that I thought this soup was merely "pretty good" when I sat down to my steaming bowl at dinner. The real treat became apparent the next day when I re-heated it for lunch. It was delicious! I had to get seconds. So I guess that this soup is like chili, it's better the second day.
Chicken and Egg Soup with Pastina
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine
Prep Time: 15 min Inactive Prep Time: hr min Cook Time: 25 min Level: Intermediate Serves: 4 servings
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 (2 1/2-to-3-pound) rotisserie chicken (on the bone)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 lemons (I only used one)
1/2 cup pastina (small pasta)
2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
2 cups baby spinach or other baby greens
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Crumbled feta cheese, for garnish (optional)
Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, the broth, 4 cups water and the juice of 1 lemon; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the pastina and simmer until the pasta is cooked and the soup thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken; when cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the bone and shred into bite-size pieces.
Remove the soup from the heat. Whisk the juice of the remaining lemon with the whole eggs and yolks in a medium bowl until frothy. Gradually whisk a ladleful of the hot soup into the egg mixture, then stir the warm egg mixture into the soup and return to medium-low heat. Cook until creamy, about 1 minute. Stir in the shredded chicken, spinach and dill, and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls; garnish with feta, if desired.
Per serving: Calories 425; Fat 27 g (Saturated 6 g); Cholesterol 277 mg; Sodium 858 mg; Carbohydrate 18 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 27 g