I've been going to bed early, snuggled under two wool blankets and a down comforter AND long johns and wool socks in the chilly bedroom , but happily occupied with plenty of books and cookbooks. One of them was a real favorite of mine when I was making soup for a small ski area a long time ago - Recipes from the Night Kitchen . While I often changed the recipes, they were full of fun and imagination. This one started out as a chicken and rosemary stew, and ended up with clementines, celery, and a handful of pasta stirred into the soup and topped with cheddar. It's a tangy, perky soup, and the color brightens this icy, snowy day.
Makes about 4-5 servings.
2 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed or minced
1 medium onion , peeled and roughly diced
2 clementines, peeled and sliced in circles
1 cup canned plum tomatoes, cut into large-ish pieces
1 t. thyme
4 six (6) inch springs rosemary, stripped from stem, or just throw in whole and fish out at the end of cooking
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken stock
2 medium skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 T. butter or olive oil for browning the chicken
3 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup roughly chopped Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste
For the pasta:
2 cups rigatoni
Cook until tender and drain
Garnish with shredded cheddar
Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed stewpot . Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, then add the clementines, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf and cook briefly, then add the chicken stock. Turn heat to low and cook, partly covered, for 40 minutes.
Just before the 40 minutes are up, melt the butter or oil in a skillet and saute the chicken until just cooked.
Add the chicken, parsley, and celery to the soup, stir and taste, adding more seasonings as needed. Cook for 5 minutes. Place a large spoonful of the pre-cooked pasta in the bottom of each bowl, add hot soup, then sprinkle with the cheddar.