Oh Snow. It’s running my life these days. I don’t remember this much snow, ever. My dad tells stories of back in 83’ when he was driving a tractor trailer for a living, there was a winter like this. A couple of miles took hours, he said. I’m just not used to it. I like snow, I do. It’s beautiful, and so quiet. It softens all the greys and browns of the winter landscape, making everything bright and magical.
But when I can’t leave the house for days on end because the roads are icy and I can’t drive up the hill without sliding backwards, to be honest, I have a hard time being grateful for the stuff. Oh, and of course, it’s cold. Bitterly cold.
I’m trying to refocus though, and see the good. There is good. Like this beautiful blue sky I saw a yesterday, when the grey clouds cleared for a couple of hours:
And of course, all of this time indoors has lead to many hours in the kitchen. I’ve made lots of loaves of this bread, and turned it into fantastic pizza crust. I’ve made muffins, tarts, cookies and other yummy things. And today, I got out of my baking comfort zone and made soup. Delicious, healthy, clean out the fridge type soup. Just what I needed today to lift my spirits.
This is a highly adapted version of the soup on the January cover of Martha Stewart Living. It’s great because you can pretty much add anything you’ve got in your pantry or refrigerator. I roasted a chicken before hand and shredded it to make more of a chicken soup than a veggie one, but you could leave it out entirely.
Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup
adapted from Martha Stewart
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium carrots, cut into cubes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 pinches of red-pepper flakes
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
5 1/4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups water
2 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 12 ounces), cut into cubes
about 3 cups of fresh spinach
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 whole chicken, roasted and shredded (I use this recipe)
1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook onion, , carrots, garlic, red-pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add stock and water, and bring to a boil.
2. Add potatoes. Return to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until they are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in spinach, chicken and chickpeas, and return to a boil. Stir in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
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