soup glorious soup

It’s time to lighten things up and try to lose a bit of the 5-pound pudge I’ve re-gained in the month and a half since Mariah & Seth’s wedding — the wedding which sparked the long, hungry summer of eating well in order to fit into a dress. I’ve gone on a bit of a bender since then. Pizza for lunch and a burger and fries for dinner? Why not!

Looking ahead to the work week before me, I’m thinking about what to take for lunch. I’m out of frozen entrees (these are my favorites!) but rather than head on over to Target to buy more (they have them for the bargain price of $2.50 as opposed to the $4-plus all the other stores charge), I decided to make some soup to pack for lunch for the next few days. Chicken and vegetable with some whole grain pasta oughta be just the thing. Light and healthy with just enough substance to keep me full for awhile.

I didn’t really follow a recipe. I just tossed in whatever I had on hand and sounded good. It was a clean-out-the-fridge sort of a thing and I managed to use up a few of the leftover items from the pumpkin-carving party. I just had a bowl of it and it is pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Lighten-it-up Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Serves 4 to 6

2 T olive oil

1 pound of chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-sized chunks

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 c chopped zucchini

1 c chopped yellow squash

1/2 cup shredded or sliced carrots

2 stalks celery, chopped (if your celery came with leaves still attached, chop those up for sprinkling on the soup)

1 cup or so spicy hot salsa

1/2 t thyme

1/2 t basil

1/2 t sage

1/2 t parsley

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Freshly-ground pepper

A handful of pasta

Freshly-grated parmesan for sprinkling

Heat olive in in a large dutch oven and saute the chicken in it for 5 minutes or so (so that’s it’s cooked on the outside but still a little pink in the middle). Add the onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes more before adding all the other ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the pasta is cooked. Ladle it into bowls and sprinkle with celery leaves, parmesan cheese, and pepper.

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