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~ Twelve-in-an-Hour Chicken-Vegetable Soup Bowls ~

IMG_7714Fifteen minutes of prep time and forty-five minutes of stovetop simmering later (slightly longer for you slow-handed choppers), we sat down in front of these steaming bowls of chicken-vegetable soup, ate, and got back to business as usual, which included freezing ten soup bowls for future consumption. Had you arrived in time for lunch, I'd have offered you a bowl, and, you'd never guess it didn't simmer, and I didn't slave over it, all day.  It's simply THAT good, as long as the recipe is followed as written, and, it yields the same amount, twelve two-cup bowls, every time.  

This is one of the make-in-advance meals I cook just for me, as, a small cup of soup, some chicken- or tuna- salad, or a microwave reheat of something-anything leftover, is my typical weekday take-a-break-to-have-a-bite-to-eat lunch.  While this recipe, once-upon-a-time a few decades ago, would have been referred to as semi-homemade time-saving pantry cooking, truth told, for the busy current-day hard-working one- or two-working parent household, it is as close as it gets to feeding a family a homemade dinner, plus leftovers, in a reasonable time frame.

Six quarts of clear-brothed, bold-flavored, rich, hearty soup:

IMG_767815 minutes prep + 45 minutes simmering = 12 luscious servings

IMG_76466  cups water

1  32-ounce box Kitchen Basics, unsalted vegetable stock

1  14 1/2-ounce can Del Monte "original-style", not "Italian-style", stewed tomatoes

1  8-ounce can sliced mushrooms, undrained

2  tablespoons sea salt

1  teaspoon coarse-grind black pepper

3/4  teaspoon garlic powder

1/2  teaspoon red pepper flakes

1  packet Herb-Ox granulated beef bouillon

2  generous cups diced yellow or sweet onion, 12 ounces onion

2  generous cups diced celery, 12 ounces celery

3  generous cups peeled and diced carrots, 16 ounces carrot

4  generous cups diced boneless, skinless chicken thighs or tenders, 2 pounds

5  generous cups peeled and diced gold potatoes, 2 1/2 pounds potatoes

cooked and drained egg noodles (optional)

IMG_7648 IMG_7648~ Step 1.  Into an 8-quart stockpot:  water, stock, tomatoes and mushrooms, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flacks and granulated beef bouillon -- no eye rolling, beef bouillon in chicken soup is a secret seasoning weapon.

IMG_7654 IMG_7654 IMG_7654 IMG_7654~Step 2.  Dice the onion, celery, carrots and chicken as directed, placing them in the stockpot as you work -- this takes me about 15 minutes.  A noteworthy time-saving tip:  A 16-ounce bag of frozen, sliced, carrots (throw them in frozen) can be substituted without compromise.

IMG_7662 IMG_7662 IMG_7662Step 3.  Place the stockpot on the stove and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Once boiling adjust heat to simmer gently but steadily for 15 minutes.  Use this time to peel and dice the potatoes.

IMG_7672 IMG_7672 IMG_7672 IMG_7672~Step 4.  Add the diced potatoes to the simmer soup, give it a stir, return to a gently but steady simmer and continue to cook, uncovered, 35-45 more minutes.  Using a soup ladle, portion one cup broth into each of twelve, 2-cup-sized freezer-safe food-storage containers (with tight-fitting lids).  Using a large slotted spoon, portion one cup vegetables into each container.

Eat one, with or without some cooked egg noodles added...

IMG_7686... or freeze twelve delicious 1-hour investments in the future:

IMG_7689Twelve-in-an-Hour Chicken-Vegetable-Soup Bowls:  Recipe yields 12, 2-cup servings of chicken-vegetable soup/6 total quarts soup.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; vegetable peeler; 8-quart stock pot; large-spoon; soup ladle; large slotted spoon; 12, 2-cup size food-storage containers w/tight-fitting lids

6a0120a8551282970b01bb09ed9264970dCook's Note: I would never recommend you bypass making a big batch of homemade chicken stock, or your grandmother's heirloom  ~ Coaldale Baba's Heavenly Chicken Noodle Soup ~, complete with ~ Eastern European-Style Homemade Egg Noodles ~. Never.  Period.  I am merely saying that in today's busy world, having a time-saving, uncompromising, semi-pantry-made alternative makes it a kinder, gentler, relaxed-paced place.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019)


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