Monday, January 7, 2013

Hibernation Effect

We got almost a foot of snow the weekend before New Year's Day and it has been cold, cold, cold so none of it has melted.  Then yesterday we woke up to another dusting, which sort of refreshed the dirty snow.  Whenever the weather gets like this, it truly makes me want to hibernate.  This is the time of year when I struggle to want to do much of anything other than come home and put on my pajamas every night.  The other thing that happens is that this throws me right into Sunday cooking day mode, so you can expect that I'll be sharing some recipes again.

First up, is this DELICIOUS soup that I made the day it snowed.  Besides the cold weather this was prompted by the fact that I had some light cream left over from Christmas dinner and wanted to use it up rather than let it go bad.

I saw the original recipe on The Pioneer Woman's website and as usual, because I'm a good, experienced cook, I adapted it to fit what I had on hand and what would make it less time intensive.  This soup is positively delicious and a very nice twist on regular chicken noodle soup.  It made so much I ended up freezing half of it right away and still ate it for an entire week with what was left in the fridge.  Give it a try, I'm sure you'll like it!

Italian Chicken Noodle Soup
about 16 one cup servings
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 8 oz Ditalini Pasta
  • 1 whole Cut Up Fryer Chicken, or pick a rotisserie chicken clean
  • 8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth or homemade Chicken Stock
  • 1 whole medium onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 whole Fresh Jalapenos, Diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 14 1/2 oz. cans petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano or 4 Tablespoons fresh oregano, diced
  • Parmesan Cheese Shavings, For Serving
Cook pasta in a pot according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Set aside.
Place chicken in a large pot or dutch oven and cover in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer chicken, covered, for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and leave covered for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and shred meat. Discard bones and set meat aside.
Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and oregano and turn off heat, stirring over the next minute to keep oregano from burning. Set this aside.
In a medium pot to onion, green pepper, celery, and jalapenos in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, salt, pepper, shredded chicken, and tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer about 15 minutes to let flavors meld. Add cream and half and half, and all the oregano and olive oil from the small skillet. Bring back to a simmer then add cooked pasta, stir to combine. Turn off heat.
If you want to be fancy you can serve with shaved Parmesan on the top but I forgot this step and my soup still tasted delicious!
This is hearty and one cup was enough to fill me.  Also because of using full-fat products, I think it made it more filling, although I would have no objection to trying this with fat free or skim dairy products, which is what I usually have on hand.


  1. That is a very delicious looking soup! 16 servings you say? Any leftovers for me?

  2. That soups sounds wonderful! I'm with you on the cold weather - it's hard to get out of my comfy sweats and actually leave the house!

    I did make *your* roasted carrots a few days ago and DANG, they were good!

    I need to make some soup chilli stew SOMETHING :)


  4. Is it sad that I put my pajamas on when I get home from work, no matter what time of year it is?! But I agree, it's 13 degrees right now, and I am warming up my car so I don't freeze my ass off on my way to work. I'd much rather stay in bed and watch movies this week!

  5. There is nothing like some warm soup on a cold winter's night! I am not a huge soup eater but some nights you just crave it. I have a comfy pair of flannel pjs that I love to throw on in the winter in the evening, sometimes right after dinner.

  6. This looks delicious Helen. Can you send a quart or so up here to Vancouver, I think it would help my cold. :) Have a great Monday.

  7. I love soup! But my sister has cooked things twice from PW and both times, YUCK.
    Good you adapted the recipe. Mostly likely for the better! The soup looks divine.

  8. Hi there Helen! Just in and snooping around after seeing you leave a comment in another blog! :) That looks sooo delicious, bookmarked for me! :D

  9. This time of year I feel like going to bed at 7:00! I can't wait for more daylights and warmer weather.

    That soup does look delicious and full fat products are filling!

  10. Looks tasty! I get in my jammies after dinner most nights if we aren't going out :D

  11. I am LOVING all of your recipe posts! That one looks amazing.