Leah Behr: Tuscan Chicken Stoup with Homemade Croutons

Tuscan Chicken Stoup with Homemade Croutons

Do you ever find yourself REALLY craving something, but can't quite put your finger on what it is exactly that you're craving? It happens to me ALL the time! Still not following? Then follow me in my neurosis.

As it was a stormy & snowy day out, I needed something to warm me from the inside out. I was CRAVING soup, but none of the soups in my repertoire were fitting the craving within. I was over "tomato based" soups, as I had made a big batch of cabbage soup the previous week and ate it for lunch almost every day after - until it was gone. The "chicken noodle" or " Mexican chicken & rice" types were also not up for consideration, no matter how much I considered "kicking them up a notch." I was looking for something different. Something hearty. Something fresh. Something delicious.

I had seen this recipe on Pinterest and pinned it quite some months ago. It turned out to be exactly what I was craving! The recipe calls it "Tuscan Chicken Stew" but I found the consistency to be somewhere in between a stew & a soup so Brandon coined it "stoup." (I also had to cook this meal rather quickly, at a high heat, so I added more water to cook it down in a faster time.)

It was also a happy accident that a friend had posted her recipe for homemade croutons that day, and I was able to pair them with this wonderful stoup to create one very delicious meal. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

a quality photo, courtesy of iPhone5 haha

Tuscan Chicken Stoup
Adapted From: here

1 Rotisserie Chicken (shredded)
2 Cups Water (I added 1-2 Cups more, just depends on the consistency you want. You can make this call towards the end of the cooking time, if you're unsure)
4 Cups Chicken Broth
2-3 tsp salt, divided
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, divided
1 Bay Leaf
4 stalks Celery, diced
3 Carrots, diced
1 med Onion, diced
5 med. Red Potatoes, quartered then sliced
1 15-oz. can great northern beans, drained & rinsed
1 tsp Dried Thyme
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tspn Paprika
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (makes it pretty spicy so may want to only use 1/4 tsp if you have a sensitive pallet)
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
4 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise and sliced

In a large pot or dutch oven, combine oil, celery, carrots, onion and cook on medium heat until softened. Add water, broth, salt, pepper, potatoes, beans, thyme, garlic, paprika, red pepper flakes, italian seasoning and tomatoes; cook on med-high to high, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium heat and cook uncovered for 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile, remove the bones and skin from your rotisserie chicken (you can also cook your own chicken, but I find the store bought rotisserie chickens to be such a time saver in soups that I rarely make my own) Once vegetables and broth have cooked for 45 minutes, add chicken and stir to combine. Cover pot, remove from heat and let rest for 30 minutes.

Serve with homemade croutons!

Homemade Croutons
Inspired By a Friend's Blog: here

1 Loaf Sourdough Bread (I picked up an amazing loaf stuffed with garlic cloves, it was perfect!)
Olive Oil

Slice bread into one-inch cubes
Toss in large bowl, with olive oil, and toss to distribute evenly (you don't want them to be drenched or soggy)
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown

Serve atop a big bowl of Tuscan Chicken Stoup. Enjoy! What is your favorite soup to warm you up on a cold day?

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