Lemony Chicken and Vegetable Soup

It’s a rainy Sunday in Central Virginia.  I wish I could say it’s a lazy, rainy day, but there’s laundry, meal planning and grocery shopping to do.  And since dinner last night ended up in the trash there was also lunch to make.  Rainy day = soup.  Perfect for a day when there’s a lot to do.

As I begin thinking about starting seeds for this year’s garden I am reminded of the mountains of food from last year’s garden and farmers’ markets that is still taking up space in my freezer.  Here’s a chance to use some of that yummy summer produce: corn and tomatoes in this case.  It’s not the recipe that’s important here.  It’s the idea.  You can make soup out of pretty much anything you have around.  And you can freeze it for another busy, rainy day.

So here’s how it works.  Start with a good stock, chicken stock in this case.  When you consider what to add choose a variety of flavors and textures.   Something earthy, something bright, something sweet, something bitter.  For this soup I chose celery (earthy), lemon juice (bright), white corn (sweet), onion (bitter).  I added some carrots and some tomatoes for color.  A little salt and pepper are really the only spices you need, but throw in some cayenne if you want a little kick or some paprika for a smoky note.

This soup turned out really well.  I usually lose interest in soup pretty quickly, but I’m really excited to eat the rest of this.  Two things really put this over the top.  One, I used some leftover organic lemon roast chicken that I had in the freezer.  So, so good.  And two, the corn.  Last summer I bought extra Silver Queen corn when it came in and I froze several cups of kernels.  Lucky me!  It was the perfect sweet addition to the lemony soup.

Good? Yes! Sometimes the simple things are the best.
Easy? Yep, one pot, 20 minutes.
Good for company? Nice for a lunch alongside an interesting salad.
Special shopping? Nope, the whole point is using what you have.

Lemony Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil
1 C diced onion
1 C diced celery
4 C chicken stock
1 C matchstick carrots
1 pint tomatoes, undrained
3 C corn kernels, fresh or frozen
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Saute onions and celery in olive oil. In a stock pot heat chicken stock. Add all other ingredients. Simmer 15-20 minutes.

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