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I think one of the things that makes this soup so good is the grilled chicken that I used instead of just regular boiled chicken that goes into most soups. And then when I served it I squeezed a little lemon on top and that gave it a nice zing.
Preheat your grill to 450 F.
Rub olive oil into the chicken and season both sides with Italian seasoning.
Place chicken on hot grill and cook for 3 minutes. Turn once and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Cook time may vary to 5 minuntes per side if your chicken breasts were large or really think). Remove chicken from grill, squeeze a lemon on the hot chicken and cover with foil. This will make the chicken juicy and moist. Let it rest at room temperature while you start the soup.
Chop all of the vegetables before you begin cooking so everything will be ready and you won’t be rushing around.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy soup pot and add garlic and onion. Cook over medium heat until the onions start to soften, about 4 minutes.
Add carrots, celery, peppers and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Stir occasionally and cook for 3 minutes.
Raise heat to high and deglaze the pan by stirring in 4 tablespoons of vermouth. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning to the vegetables.
Add 2 quarts chicken broth and 1 cup water. Stir. Add fresh parsley and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, saute the mushrooms (in a skillet over medium heat until the liquid cooks out) and blanch the green beans (in a pot of boiling water for about 60 seconds, or until bright green).
Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and add it into the soup mixture. Add the green beans and mushrooms to the soup. Stir. Squeeze 1/2 of a lemon lemon (juice only, make sure you remove any seeds) into soup. Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes. (This is where you would add the fresh cheese ravioli or tortellini if you really want a treat, and calories don’t count).
Then add the chopped spinach and stir. Cook over high heat until spinach wilts, about 5 minutes.
Ladle soup into a nice bowl, give it another squeeze of lemon, garnish with Parmesan and enjoy!
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!