Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chicken penne soup for a snowy night

It's a cold, icy afternoon with sleet pelting the windows. We're waiting for the first real snowfall of the year to descend on the North Carolina Piedmont tonight. So while we wait for this much-anticipated snow, we're making chicken soup.

Making homemade soup is so much better for you than canned soup because it doesn't have any preservatives, and you can control the sodium. Plus, it's inexpensive when you use leftovers from your fridge.

First, make your our own chicken stock. (We used leftover rotisserie chicken.) Add the entire chicken--including bits of meat, cooked skin and bones--to a large stock pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 45 minutes. Drain off the chicken pieces and bones, and you're left with your own stock.

Chop three carrots and a couple of stalks of celery, one onion, a clove of garlic and about six small potatoes into bite-size pieces and add to the pot with a couple of bay leaves. Simmer for about 45 minutes, then add the leftover cooked chicken.

Since the rotisserie chicken didn't have much meat left, we defrosted a couple of chicken breasts from the freezer, cooked them on the stovetop, and sliced them into bite-size pieces. We also added 2 1/2 cups of penne pasta with about a tablespoon of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer until the pasta and vegetables are tender. Don't forget to remove the bay leaves before you serve.

Here's hoping tonight will bring snow!

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