Recipe by Marlene McGaffic
Last month our Bunco was hosted by Marlene and she served this wonderful Italian soup with 3 different kinds of homemade breads. I absolutely loved it and asked her for the recipe. It's one of her mother's, who is 100% Italian, but Marlene has changed up the recipe some to suit her family's taste.
I changed it up just a little as I didn't have exactly the same ingredients that Marlene uses.
She uses chicken breast halves, skin & fat removed and I had a large family pack of chicken thighs. I baked those for an hour, removed the skin and cut the chicken into bite size pieces.
Marlene's recipe calls for chicken broth, I had none but had beef broth and used that. The only other thing I added differently was some thyme.
Marlene says you can even change up the chicken for 1/2# hot OR sweet Italian sausage with the casing removed.
This soup is really good, perfect for a cold autumn day!
Marlene's Brodoso Soup
2 chicken breast halves, skin & fat removed
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lg. sweet onion, chopped
5 celery stalks, with leaves, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped fine or 1 tsp. powdered garlic
1 can cannellini beans ( white beans) drained and rinsed
1 small can diced tomatoes with juice ( I used a large can)
6 cups chicken broth ( I used 2 cartons beef broth)
4-5 fresh basil leaves or 1/2 tsp. dried basil
3-4 cups fresh spinach leaves or 1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and water squeezed out.
1/2 lb. ditalini soup pasta ( I used 1 1/2 cups)
salt & pepper to taste ( I also added some thyme)
grated parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.
Cook chicken and cut into small pieces. Set aside.
Saute onion, celery and garlic in olive oil in a large soup pot. Do not omit sauteing in olive oil to save calories, as this is what gives this soup it's distinctive flavor. Add beans, tomatoes, broth and basil to pot. Season with salt & pepper to taste and simmer for 30 minutes. Add chicken pieces and fresh spinach if using. If using frozen spinach instead, defrost and squeeze all water then add to soup. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
Cook ditalini noodles in another pot and drain. Serve this in a separate bowl for people to add to their own soup. Sprinkle top of individual servings with grated parmesan cheese.
( I added my ditalini noodles to the soup after they were cooked and drained).