Friday, January 14, 2011

Clean Eating #19: Chicken Kitchen Sink Soup (veggies, couscous, lentils, healthy stuff)

Chicken Kitchen Sink Soup
I gave up trying to name my soups. I'm a lover of many textures, colors and flavors in my food, especially my soups. My chicken soup has evolved over the years to the point that I just about throw everything except the kitchen sink into it.

This time I actually ran out of room in my pan before I got very many different veggies in it.  I usually have everything from green beans to zucchini and whatever I have on hand.  In the winter I like to use frozen veggies because they're quick.  This is deinitely a 'quick fix' meal (Which is probably why I made it on a Thursday, when we are often gone from 8:30am to 9:30pm).

PREP:  If you have a prep day, go ahead and dice/cut up your chicken and store in a freezer bag/container in the freezer.  Dice onions and either roast garlic or dice and store in a bag along with any other veggies you like in your soups (bell peppers, fresh veggies, etc).  Anytime I do cook a full chicken, I keep the broth in freezer bags as well as boiling the last of the chicken to make stock for soup later on.  This time I had to buy new broth because we're out.

Cooked Chicken breast, cut into bit sized or smaller pieces
Natural Chicken broth
Whole Wheat Coucous
2-3 bags of a variety of diced frozen veggies.  We had corn, peas and carrots this time.
1 onion, diced
1-2 heads of garlic, diced or roasted garlic
Stalk of celery
Mrs Dash Tomato, Basil Garlic seasoning
Fresh ground black pepper

Since I didn't follow my own rule and have a prep day this time, I had to start from scratch. 
On the stove
1 pan with cubed chicken, diced onions and garlic being sauteed
1 large pot with water, chicken broth & lentils brought to a boil, then simmered on low-med for about 15 -20 minutes until the lentils are mostly soft. (I like my veggies kind of firm in my meals, so I tend to make sure that everything is nearly all the way done before I add frozen veggies, fresh veggies need to cook a little longer, especially carrots)
Add box of couscous to the broth & bring to a boil again, then simmer
Add frozen veggies
Add chicken mixture
Add more water/broth as desired.  I like soup without too much broth, unless I'm treating myself with bread, which is why my "soup" tends to look more like a plate of veggies sometimes:)

Verdict:  YUMMY!  I love all the different textures in this soup.  I loved the couscous and lentils both together.  It was almost as good as wild rice! 

Sometimes I use wild rice instead of couscous, which I actually prefer, but we're out.  Again.  I don't want to get stuck in a rut, so I try to get different things.
Seasoning Suggestions??  Experiment with different seasonings.  I'm curious what other people use.  Some day I want to try a spicy version with some of my spicier seasonsing.  I've never been very knowledgable about spices, so any info is good!  No MSG and No Salt added is good for us.