Chicken Veggie Soup: W! Style

Okay, people. I’ve been threatening to post this, and now here it is.  It features my and Randy’s favorite ingredient the GARBANZO BEAN.  I’m not sure what this says about us, but I believe Randy like his bean much harder and stiffer than I like mine.  I have to cook this soup for the missus, that likes the beans to melt in her mouth.  But I digress. . . .

As always, I will be giving you crock pot cooking times.  However, this can also be done on a low simmer in a big pot for a minimum of three hours.  I say “minimum” because of the carrots to be included and cooked all the way through. Once again, if you like your sticks hard, cook for two hours.  If you like ‘em to melt in your mouth:  more than two hours.  And contrary to conventional thinking, sometimes soft is much more desirable than stiff.  Uh oh:  there I go again

Final note: while I state specific measurements for spices, I only do it because we should have a starting point.  To be honest, I don’t really measure anymore — except for measuring the salt. 

Ingredients:

  • Swimming goggles
  • two large onions
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 4-5 medium size carrots
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh dried garbanzo beans (soak overnight before using)
  • 2 – 2 1/2 lb diced boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 tblspoons curry powder
  • 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I tend to go lighter on the salt0)
  • 3 shakes of worscheshire(sp) sauce or soy sauce
  • 2 large 28 oz cans diced tomatoes and add the juice from the cans
  • 1 serrano pepper (just one — this is NOT Suppressed Desires chili)
  • 1 can of low sodium chicken broth (or regular chicken broth and reduce the amount of salt you add — don’t kill the soup by being too salty)
  • Optional — 1 cup of frozen corn, blackeyed peas or other frozen veggie you don’t have to chop up or take a lot of time to prepare

So, you guys know how I work.  The night before, soak the garbanzo beans.  If you forget to soak the beans, don’t even try this.  Don the swimming goggles and chop the onions and put in bowl.  In the same bowl put your chopped up garlic and celery.  In another bowl  put in chopped up bell peppers (you should probably get rid of the seeds in the bell peppers) and the serrano pepper. Keep the seeds in the serrano pepper.   If you have any bowls left, SLICE (not dice or chop) the carrots into semi-thin slices.  Didya note I don’t have you chopping up the chicken?  Enough’s enough with the chopping, for Christ’s sake.  Stop and have a scotcharita.

The next morning, get early and really martyr yourself to your partner, or to yourself for being so dedicated. At this point I suggest cooking the garbanzo beans for two hours before you drop it in the crock pot.  However, You might be able to get away with cooking them for 1 hour.

While the beans are cooking, whip out your deep skillet, and with a bit of olive oil or butter, sautee the celery/onion/garlic for about 5 minutes.  Then add the green bell pepper /serrano pepper mix to the pan and skillet and sautee for about 5 minutes.  Now, mix in the curry and salt and sautee for another couple of minutes.

So, you’ve probably cooked your beans as long as you want to cook them.  Add the canned tomatoes and chicken broth to the crock pot (or regular pot — remember to adjust your time accordingly). Drain off the beans but reserve a cup or so of the water you cooked the beans in if you need a more soupier soup in a separate cup.  Add the beans, the sautee mixture, a couple of dashes of worsteshire(sp) or soy sauce. And oh yeah.  Add the carrots. Now you got yourself a kickass veggie soup.  Set your crockpot for at least 6 hours.

Ah yes.  The chicken.  Don’t ask me why — I think it’s just our schedule at W!s house when we cook this.  I usually dice up the chicken and add it a couple of hours later if I’m crock potting this, or one hour later if I’m cooking in a big pot.  But make sure the chicken gets a chance to cook for at least two hours in a regular pot, three hours in a crock pot.  

However you cook it, let it cook at least half way and get watery before deciding to add the reserve garbanzo water if you think it’s too thick for your liking.  Remember that as these stews, soups, and chilis cook, the natural juices of the ingredients add water the longer they cook.

I almost forgot.  About an hour before you serve, throw in those frozen vegetables if you really need them.  I only do it to add some variety and color to the soup.

And there you have it.  Along the way you should test and add season to taste.  I just chose curry as the foundation spice.  Knowing the readers of these recipes, I’m sure there will be some great variations.

Bon Apetit.

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