Weekends Call for Soup

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Over the weekend the weather began to cool down and my mind turned, as it often does, to thoughts of soup and something that would warm the cockles. If I ever open a restaurant, it will be “K.C.’s Soup Kitchen,” and I will only serve bread, soup and pie. This is because, once you’ve made a few, they’re all really easy — yet so impressive, guests think you’ve done something really special.

This was an ad hoc soup, prepared from whatever I could find around the house. It was so easy, simple and loaded with nutrition, I think it will now be added to my list of favorites. In the future, if I wanted to bump up the nutrition or was feeling threatened with a cold or flu, I’d add some shitake mushrooms toward the end of the cook time. But this was good enough to share anyway, and I’m glad I have a bowl in my lunch box to tuck into as soon as I post this blog.

Here you go. Mangia!

K.C.’s Sweet Potato Chicken Soup

  • 6 to 8 chicken thighs  [I used boneless. You could use breasts, but I think thighs are more flavorful and they’re cheaper…]
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut in rounds
  • 1 tsp. Frontier Thai seasoning [a tasty combo of onion & garlic powder, coriander, paprika, basil, black pepper cilantro and white pepper–if you don’t have it, you can just sort of dash in any of those ingredients that appeal to you]
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh orange thyme [or 1 tsp. dried thyme of any variety: lemon would be great. I just happened to have orange fresh in my container garden.]
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic [I used 6, but that’s just how I roll!]
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups chicken broth [I had a large jar of chicken broth I’d made the last time I roasted a chicken. I think it was about two cups, but basically, enough chicken broth to make it soup]
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup of wild rice, cooked

[I started this on top of the stove in my Dutch oven then put it in the oven after I’d finished browning the chicken and onion and had added the other ingredients, except the lemon and wild rice.]

Brown chicken thighs in olive oil. After they’ve browned, add onion and stir until translucent. Add other ingredients down to “Zest of one lemon.”

Put in oven, covered, and cook at 300 degrees for one hour.

While it’s cooking, boil wild rice al dente and add a bit of salt. [I like mine a bit chewy.]

When you bring the soup out of the oven, add the lemon zest and lemon juice; drain the rice and add to soup. Salt or adjust flavors as you see fit. I added more garlic. 🙂

I love the slightly sweet flavor the sweet potato provides, plus the citrusy zing of the thyme and lemon zest.

I ate this with some fresh whole-wheat bread Hank’s wife Karen baked last week. The bread had gotten a little hard, so I toasted it, then tore it into pieces and put it on top of the soup just before I served it, ad hoc croutons for my ad hoc soup.

The dish was hearty, scrumptious and left my cockles thoroughly warmed.