Chicken Soup for the 17 Day Dieter’s Soul

I promised recipes, and since I’m doing Cycle 1 of The 17 Day Diet, I figure that it sorta makes sense to start there.  One major change we’ve made with our cooking is to use low or no sodium products when possible.  Usually we find this doesn’t actually make a big difference in taste – especially when we use other spices to punch up flavour.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Except for baking the chicken, I did everything in one pot.

Bake 3 chicken breasts at 350° for around 35 min (I think – it might have been longer.  I actually did this the night before since I needed chicken for something else, then just chopped it and put it in the fridge for next day’s soup.)  I usually sprinkle with a salt-free seasoning like Mrs. Dash Chicken.

Saute chopped onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms and garlic in a tiny bit of Olive Oil (I’d say it was around 10 min by the time everything was chopped and tossed in the pot)

Toss in some chopped purple cabbage and let it cook until slightly wilted (probably 3-5 minutes).  I used about 1/4 of a small head since I had it on hand for something else and wanted to try purple instead of green, which I had used before.

Add broth (I used 2 Tetra Packs each of Kitchen Basics unsalted Chicken / Vegetable broth) and a can of diced tomatoes (I used 28oz can of Alymer No Salt Added).

Add chicken breast pieces and additional spices (I used a shake of Sage, two shakes of Thyme and a very small handful of dried Basil.  It tasted boring, so I added a packet of Old Elpaso Smart Fiesta reduced salt taco seasoning).

Simmer on low for a minimum of 15-20 minutes, up to an hour or more if you’d like.

The Verdict:  I’ll admit it:  I’m a title writing recipe misleader.  This chicken vegetable soup recipe concoction wasn’t awesome.  It wasn’t terrible, either, and maybe someone can learn something from it, so I’m posting it anyway.  It tasted alright, but both Rob and I agree that something was a little odd.  It certainly wasn’t anything so special that it nurtured my soul.  Sorry to deceive you – I just wanted you to read my very first recipe post.  I was already a little sad that the soup wasn’t amazing; I didn’t also want to be sad that no one was reading my first recipe post.  Plus I was kind of proud of the clever title, which I basically picked out before I even made the stupid soup.

Enough with my whining/groveling – let’s talk about what was up with the soup.  I have made virtually identical soups before that tasted fabulous, so why was this one weird?  Hmmm…excellent question – let’s figure it out!  I am pretty darn amazing, and my Grandma is basically the Queen of soup…so most of the time my soup concoctions are delightful creations.  Once before, though, I did make a beef vegetable soup that had the same “odd” quality.  What do these two soups have in common, you ask?  Two things:  they both had mushrooms, which I don’t usually put into veggie type soups, and they both used the Kitchen Basics Vegetable broth.  The odd flavour could be one of these things, or a combination of the two…but I tend to think it’s the veggie broth.  It’s darker than other veggie broths I’ve used in the past, and it had a slightly different smell as well.  Again, not bad, just odd.  I usually don’t care what brand of broth I buy (aside from the low sodium part), but maybe I will start paying more attention from here on out.

While it wasn’t a big hit flavour-wise, the soup was pretty filling.  The chicken pieces add protein, and all the veggies keep it thick enough to be a satisfying meal.  I would make this soup again, but I would try a different vegetable broth, or perhaps go with straight chicken broth instead.  If you give it a shot and come up with something tasty, please let me know what you did differently to make it that way!

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