Around this time last year, I made my first batch of chickpea chicken soup and fell in love. I don’t know what it about throwing a boatload of ingredients into a pot of simmering broth, but it ignites an itsy bitsy fire in my soul.
Well. That sort of sounds annoying, huh?
Whatev. All I’m trying to say is that I really like soup.
Wanna hear something funny?
Okay. It’s really not funny.
Mr. How Sweet has been gone for almost two whole weeks. TWO.
You know how much I love that. I crave my single lady time and get to do whatever the heck I want. I get to hog the bed to myself, don’t have to listen to any snoring, get to watch all those Friends’ episodes that I seriously (seriously!) have not shut up about, not pick up after myself, and perhaps most importantly: eat whatever, whenever I want. Things that he won’t even dreeeeeam of touching. Things without chicken and steak. Things like wine and cheese and crackers every night.
That’s not the
nonfunny part. The nonfunny part is that I developed my sickness the day he left. The sickness that robbed me of my sense of smell, appetite and general motivation to do anything at all. The sickness that made me not want to eat anything fun. The sickness that only allowed me to consume about 6 full meals in 11 days. The sickness that caused me to LISTEN TO MY OWN SNORING every single night. The sickness that made me ingest more Nyquil that humanly possible, disallowing me any wine. The sickness that rendered me useless and made it physically impossible for me to steam clean our carpets and deep clean our family room like I had fully intended on doing.
Oh wait. We all know I could care less about those last two.
But really. This lack of appetite has been so intense that I let that entire pan of baklava sit on my counter without touching it for THREE days. I let the mocha coconut fudge sit right under my nose for THREE more days without so much of a bite. Well, except for yesterday when I took a bite of fudge, then a bite of pretzel, then a bite of fudge, then a bite of pretzel, then a bite of… yeah. It has just been totally loopy.
I have pretty much lived on green things that I thought would cure me and slurps of soup, this being one variety. It’s packed with tons of flava flav, thanks to the bacon that starts everything off. Don’t you dare leave it out! I’ll know it if you do.
So now… Mr. How Sweet is on his way home and I guess that means I have to come up with something really meaty for tonight. Hope he doesn’t mind eating dinner at midnight in bed while watching Friends.
White Bean Chicken Soup
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 cleaned and trimmed leek, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (6 oz) bag fresh spinach
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups water
1/4 cup freshly grated fontina cheese + more for garnish
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add chopped bacon. Cook until crispy and fat is rendered, then remove and let drain on a paper towel. Turn heat down to medium-low and add onions and leeks. Stir thoroughly to coat in bacon fat, then cook for 3 minutes. Add in mushrooms, stirring to coat and cook for 3 minutes more. Stir in pepper and paprika, then add in garlic and spinach. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until spinach wilts.
Add in chicken and toss with ingredients to coat. Add in beans, stock and water, then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in fontina and bacon. Season with salt if desired (I really didn’t feel that mine needed any with the bacon + stock + fontina.) Serve with additional grated fontina and crackers.
Note: as long as you have some cooked chicken on hand, this soup will take you under 30 minutes. If you have to cook the chicken, you’re looking at about 45 minutes.
P.S. Those little crackers up there are these crispy multigrain flax pita things from Trader Joe’s. They are currently rocking my world. sooooo.much.freaking.crunch.