Leftover Chicken

Italian chicken soup

Yes, we have returned to the school schedule along with many families across the country. It is the time of year when I go from minimal attempts at making my family dinner to hardly ever. I would be OK with cereal and peanut butter every night; TheRoomDad is not. It is perplexing to him the lack of interest I have for preparing food during the school year. Preparing meals is such a time suck, and I am not up for it after a day of teaching.

There is a quick meal that I will cook when I have the ingredients. My kids love the recipe I have for Italian Chicken Soup. It is a lot like chicken noodle soup but with a twist. Any time we have a leftover cooked chicken breast, there is a good chance I am making Italian Chicken Soup for an easy weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 T. dried basil
  • 2 t. fennel seeds
  • 1/4 t. dried crushed red pepper
  • 6 c. canned chicken broth
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced (optional)
  • ~9-oz. pasta (egg noodles, mini penne, mini bow ties, macaroni…)
  • 1 1/2 c. cooked chicken, diced

Directions

  • Heat oil in large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add red bell pepper, onion, carrot, garlic basil, fennel seeds, and crushed red pepper. Saute until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add broth.
  • Cover pot and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Add zucchini (if using), cover, and simmer about 5 minutes.
  • Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Add pasta and boil until pasta is tender.
  • Add chicken and cook until heated through about 1 more minute.
  • Season soup to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, and serve.

Notes

  • You can replace the zucchini with yellow squash (and probably celery, but I have not tried it). Red bell pepper can be replaced with green bell pepper.
  • The original recipe called for cheese ravioli, but my family likes non-stuffed pasta better.
  • The recipes makes 4-5 servings, so we usually don’t have many leftovers.

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