Saturday, November 08, 2008

A Simple Soup

Next time you want to make soup but don't feel like soaking beans overnight or building a soup base from scratch, I recommend checking out this excellent soup from the new Bon Appetit book, Fast Easy Fresh. It's Chicken and Escarole Soup with Fennel, and it's delicious.

I wanted a hearty soup to bring to my friends Deena and Matt, who just had a baby. But I didn't have tons of time. This soup was just the thing. Cutting boneless chicken thighs into cubes was about as labor-intensive as it got (and I do suggest going with thighs; they're much more flavorful than breast meat). And I guess you could say washing and chopping a head of escarole is kind of a pain... um... not really. Honestly, this soup is a cinch.

And it's so tasty. The fennel taste is really subtle; don't shy away from this if you're not wild about fennel. The escarole wilts nicely, swirled amid bits of tomato, onion, celery and chicken. Simply great, really.--S

Chicken and Escarole Soup with Fennel

1/4 c olive oil
1 1/2 lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 T dried oregano
2 c chopped onions
4 celery stalks, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 t fennel seeds
1 14- to 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
8 c low-salt chicken broth
1 head of escarole, cut into wide strips
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano. Mix in onions, celery, garlic, and fennel seeds. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
2. Stir in tomatoes. Add broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until vegetables and chicken are tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Add escarole; simmer until wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 4. Ladle into bowls. Serve, passing cheese separately.

Recipe courtesy of The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a great soup. I make it with chard because it's easier to find, and it's delicious. I also use a 28-oz can of tomatoes and half chicken broth and half veggie stock. Oh, and going a little heavy on the fennel is a good idea, too.