Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chicken and Artichoke Soup

It's a chinook wind here today.  It is blowing straight from the mountians, making it so warm out that it is melting.  The below zero cold air inversion that we've been living in is blown clean away.  The warm air can now get across the mountain and down into our valley.  Although we are grateful for the reprieve from the cold, we know this warm wind will drag with it a storm front, so we are getting prepared for that.  We are bringing in extra wood for the stove, and going to do chores early before it hits. 
On days like these, I like to have something warm for supper.  Tonight it will be Chicken and Artichoke Soup.  This is a version of my mother in law's soup.  She knows we like it, so she always makes it when we visit. I usually make it with chicken, but since we had turkey left over from the holidays, I'll be using that today. 
My pantry "star" in this recipe is canned artichokes.  I like to keep them on hand in my pantry for just such occasions.  I do enjoy the frozen artichokes, but for some reason, we have a hard time getting them here in Wyoming.  I like to buy the cans of quarters, just because I don't use them for any recipes that require them to be whole, and whenever the pieces of food are small, you get more of them.  It is a little cheaper to buy quarters.  I use artichokes in dips for quick entertaining of unexpected company, and also in pasta sauces, but the best way is in this soup. 
Besides the fresh onion, carrot celery, the rest of the ingredients are things I always have in the pantry, so this is an easy go to for lunch or dinner at our house. I don't like the salty slimy liquid that comes in cans of chickpeas, so I pour them out into a sieve, and rinse them well before adding them to this soup. 

Chicken and Artichoke Soup

2 T olive oil
1 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch cubes
1 onion chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
2 carrots chopped and diced
1 small can/pint of diced tomatoes and their juice
1 can artichoke quarters chopped and their juice
1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 box/quart chicken stock
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
pinch red pepper flake
salt and pepper to taste

In a stockpot, brown off chicken pieces in oil.  Remove chicken to a plate to add in later.  Add onion celery and diced carrots and cook until onion is translucent.  Add remaining ingredients, and scrape off browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add chicken back in an bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce to a simmer for twenty minutes. 

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