The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are always hectic trying to get a real meal on the table for me. We have so many goodies and snacks that it’s easy to forget to eat well. Then you add all the baking that’s done for friends and neighbors and at the end of the day I just don’t want to cook. Mel’s Kitchen Café offers up this soup as the perfect solution – it pulls together so fast and if you’re like me and have a lot of leftover turkey lying around in the freezer this would be the perfect place to use it up.
If you like things a little spicier, adjust the red pepper flakes to suit your tastes. The 1/4 teaspoon was perfect for us since the kids still haven’t adopted my love of spicy foods. It added plenty of flavor without much heat.
I tweaked this recipe slightly by pureeing the onions, peppers and tomatoes before adding them to the pot. My kids aren’t very picky eaters but these three things are triggers with them for some reason. Pureeing the vegetables first, led to zero questions about the ingredients in their dishes!
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 can (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, un-drained
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 7-8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (or use about 3-4 cups of shredded, cooked chicken)
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/- inch pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- In a food processor or blender, puree the onions, pepper and tomatoes until smooth.
- In a large pot heat oil over medium heat and add the pureed vegetables. Add celery, and garlic. Cook 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the diced vegetables are tender.
- Add remaining ingredients (don’t add the cooked chicken, if using, you’ll add it near the end), stir well, and bring to a low boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for about 40-45 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through.
- If using cooked chicken, stir it in at this point and let it heat through. Discard bay leaves and serve.