Everywhere I go, someone is talking about colds and flu that are going around. It seems every household has been invaded. Chicken soup may be just what’s called to add some good lean protein and vitamin packed vegetables into everyone’s diet. Here’s a recipe that sort of morphed when I started cooking. I had the veggies and the chicken all ready to throw in the pot when I decided to transform the chicken breast into meatballs. The result—Chicken Meatball Soup. It is very good and can be changed up to fit your taste by using seasonings you prefer. Enjoy experimenting and let me know what you came up with.
Chicken Meatball Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced, I used jarred roasted red bell peppers
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 15.5 ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 2 cups shredded kale
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken breast, I used my food processor to finely chop chicken breasts
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix all ingredients together gently. Form into 1-inch balls when ready to drop into broth.
- Sauté onion, celery, red pepper, garlic until starting to soften.
- Add thyme, salt and pepper. Cook just a minute or two more.
- Add chicken broth, tomatoes and carrots. Bring to simmer.
- Simmer about 20 minutes for flavors to mingle a bit.
- Drop meatballs carefully into pot. Return to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until meat balls are cooked through.
- Add cabbage and kale to pot. Cook until tender, 10 minutes.
- Enjoy with some crusty bread spread with butter.
Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has the ability to comfort.
Weight Watchers on Freestyle can enjoy each cup of this soup for only 1 point.
Today’s moments are tomorrow’s memories.
Sushan R. Sharma
Picnic basket in tow, my husband and I joined my brother, his wife, and ten thousand others for an evening of music under the stars. Redlands, California has a long time tradition of free concerts, plays, and dance performances through the Summer Music Festival established in 1923. Their ‘music for all’ vision provided a place for anyone who wanted to attend regardless of their ability to pay for admission. This is a wonderful thing. Our family has going there since our girls we small. It allowed them and us to be exposed to the arts we would otherwise be unable to afford.
The night we attended, James Garner performed his Tribute to Johnny Cash. It was great fun to listen to all the songs my dad had sung along to on Sunday drives when we were young. As each song started, my brother and I would exchange smiles of remembrance and for some, we even joined in with the singing— just for old time’s sake.
Our picnic wasn’t half bad either. Each person in our group showed up with wonderful things to eat. Falafels, hummus, and bread came with my sister-in-law from her favorite Mediterranean café. I added a Summer vegetable salad and grapes, while wine and sweets were produced from a Trader Joe’s bag to round out a very fine meal. It was a bit like the story of Stone Soup. No one went away hungry. Our hearts, as well as our stomachs, were filled from an evening of good conversation, yummy food, and sweet memories.
Summer Vegetable Salad is a pretty mixture of potatoes, tomatoes and fennel. Very low calorie and great for picnics because it contains no mayonnaise.
Summer Vegetable Salad
- 1 pound new potatoes, quartered
- ½ pound carrots, cleaned and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
- ½ pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- ½ cup julienned fennel
- 1 red onion, peeled, cut vertically, then thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup black olives
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons fennel fronds, chopped
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Separately steam potatoes, carrots and green beans until al dente. Drain and place in large bowl. Pour wine over vegetables and toss.
- Add julienned fennel and onion. Sprinkle with vinegar and toss.
- Add olives, tomatoes, fennel fronds, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss and serve.
I found the Summer Vegetable Salad in Great Good Food: Luscious Lower-Fat Cooking by Julee Rosso. I tweaked the original recipe a bit to suit my pantry and tastes. I have had this book on my shelf for years primarily because its fun to look at. It has the recipes grouped in events rather than categorized by mains, sides, desserts. It is full of ideas of menus that celebrate life.