It’s no secret that I love soup. What’s not to like about it? Easy to make, you can use scraps from your kitchen, they’re usually healthy, and make great leftovers. Win, win, win, WIN in my opinion.
Two weekends ago it was cold here in SF, and I was craving an Italian-style soup, but one without any pasta (I’ve been continuing to lay off the refined carbs). This Minestrone inspired soup, thick with shredded chicken, lots of vegetables, and a light garnish of salty parmesan cheese did the trick. To amp up the flavors, I roasted some fresh tomatoes and garlic — each tossed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar — and beyond the extra richness it added to the soup, the smell alone made this step worth it. While they were roasting, Joe kept drifting in and out of the kitchen, until he finally came in and asked, “Why does it smell so GOOD in here?”
Need I say more?
Get the recipe (and more food pics!), after the jump!
Roasted Tomato and Chicken Stew with White Beans
14 oz vine tomatoes, halved, cored (I used the Campari variety. To core the tomatoes, just use a spoon to gently scoop out the seeds and innards)
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
–kosher salt and pepper
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 28 oz can tomato puree
1 quart chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 pinch crushed red pepper flake
1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
parmesan cheese rind (buy a small wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano, then cut off the rind. Yes, it’s edible!)
1/2 bunch rainbow or red chard, chopped into bite sized pieces
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small baking dish, arrange the tomatoes so that they’re all core side up. Nestle the garlic cloves in the baking dish as well. Drizzle 2 tbsp of the olive oil over the tomatoes, as well as the balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the tomatoes are very soft, and the garlic is tender and fragrant. The balsamic vinegar may caramelize on the bottom of the dish a little too. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a large soup pot, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, season the chicken thighs, then brown in the oil, flipping to brown the second side (each side should take about 2 minutes). Remove the meat from the pot and set on a plate. Add in the carrots, onions, and roasted tomatoes and stir. Remove the garlic (it should be cool enough by now) from their papers and add to the pot as well. Season with salt and pepper.
Once the onion has softened, add in the tomato puree, the chicken stock, the bay leaf, and the crushed red pepper flakes. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Carefully add the chicken back to the soup, along with any accumulated juices. Cover and simmer on medium low heat for 1 hour. The chicken should be fall-apart tender. Taste the soup and adjust for salt.
Remove the chicken thighs from the soup, and using two forks, shred the meat. Add it, the beans and the parmesan cheese rind back to the soup, and simmer covered for another 15 minutes. Add in the chard, simmer for five minutes more, remove the cheese rind and the bay leaf, then serve immediately. Garnish with a little grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!