Frugal Healthy Recipe: Minestrone Soup

By Helen Chin Lui of The Healing Place in Medfield, MA 

This is what we consider “comfort food.” This recipe will make a huge pot of hot, hearty, stick to your bones soup. If you decide this is too much soup for you, you can divide the recipe in half. Use 2 pounds of chicken parts instead of a whole chicken and half of the vegetables.

If you can wait, the soup will taste better the next day. This soup also freezes well. Serve with bread and salad.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: Stock 1-1.5 hours
Soup: 45 minutes
Serves: 10-15 people
Stock (we like to make stock from scratch, but you can use 32-64ozs of light sodium chicken stock.)

Ingredients:In a large stockpot (10 quart pot), add:
4-5 lb cleaned, skinless, whole chicken
add chicken giblets, heart, and neck to stock pot
2 quarts of cold water (I usually eye balled how much water, I put the chicken in the pot and then fill about 2/3 with water.)
salt and pepper
With the lid half covering the pot, bring heat to high, turn down heat just when it is about to boil. Watch pot so it does not OVERBOIL.
Skim off white foam on the surface.
Cook on low heat for 1-1.5 hour until chicken is tender, but not falling off the bones.
Skim off any fat or form particles
Take out *chicken and put aside, add to the stockpot
3 medium, peeled, sliced carrots
3 ribs of celery, sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and diced or a sliced, leek (white and light green parts)
1 small bunch of chicory or kale, washed, rinsed and chopped coarsely
1 10oz  can of either rinsed, kidney beans or chickpeas
1 package of either hot or mild chorizo or linguica sausage, sliced
1 cup of orzo pasta
1 or 2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon of oregano
½ teaspoon of basil
¼ teaspoon of hot pepper flakes (optional)
2 minced garlic cloves
1 large can of diced tomatoes
¼ lb of string beans (optional)
1 small can or 1 fresh ear of corn (optional) Cut corn from kernal
salt and pepper to taste

*If you choose, for more protein add chicken meat to the soup or save for another dish or chicken salad.
With lid half covering the pot, on high heat, bring soup to a boil. Turn down heat and cook on simmer for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

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