From plate to pot

7 Feb

When I worked at the Gazette, and when the reporters ventured out to lunch to break up a long, busy day in the newsroom, we often went to The Looking Glass.

The tavern had great food, including burgers and sandwiches and a soup and salad bar. I often opted for the soup and salad bar most days, and I stumbled across their chicken parmesan soup one afternoon. Wow. It was so simple, yet so delicious, and I conjured up a recipe in my head and stored it away for a rainy snowy day.

I finally got around to making it last week, and I was quite happy with the way it turned out.

Here’s the recipe:

8 ounces chicken breast, cooked and shredded

1 13.25-ounce box whole-wheat penne, cooked to almost al dente

1 28-ounce can tomato puree

2 cups fat-free chicken broth

1 cup water

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook chicken, let cool and shred. Set aside. Cook pasta, drain and cut into smaller pieces, if desired. Set aside.

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Pour tomato puree, broth and water into slow cooker or large pot and stir to combine.

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Add pasta, garlic and spices and stir.

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Add chicken and stir.

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Add cheese and stir.

Heat through. (I put it on low for about 3 hours.)

The consistency was more like that of a stew than a soup, so I added about 1/4 cup water to each bowl upon serving to thin it out a bit and create more broth; you could add another 1-1 1/2 cups water to the recipe, if you have room in your slow cooker or stock pot, unlike me! The flavors were great—comforting from the chicken and pasta, yet zippy from the red pepper. It instantly warmed us up amid the snowstorm last week—and it instantly brought me back to my not-so-distant newspaper days.

If you could make any traditional dish into a soup or stew, which one would you transform?

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2 Responses to “From plate to pot”

  1. Julia February 8, 2011 at 12:01 am #

    I struggle with slow cooker recipes – seems like I always cook it too short or too long!
    This sounds delish though, and something that Tyler would like!
    Have a great week!

    • kaylabee18 February 9, 2011 at 9:47 am #

      It’s a tough thing to get the hang of. I’m still winging it a lot of the time! Give it a shot — and let me know if you do; I loved the simplicity of it. 🙂

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