Recipe of the Week: Chicken & White Bean Soup

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Ingredients:

  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 2-3 tablespoons dehydrated onions
  • 1 15.5-oz. can white beans
  • 1 13-oz. can chicken
  • 3/4 cup dehydrated spinach

Directions:

  1. Cook first three ingredients, until the rice is done.
  2. Add the next three ingredients (including liquid in cans) and cook about 10 more minutes.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste.

Notes: We grow Malabar spinach, dehydrate it, and store in quart jars in the pantry. We also make homemade chicken broth, reduce it, and freeze in ice cube trays, then just use about 5-6 cubes with water. Homemade broth tastes better than store canned, and it will give your immune system a boost. If you use dried spinach and canned broth, this recipe can be made straight from the pantry.

More notes: You get two recipes. After serving roasted chickens, pick off most of the remaining meat and refrigerate or freeze. Put all leftover bones, skin and drippings in a big pot, generously cover in water, and slow simmer overnight. The next day, strain off the broth, return the fat to the bones, and in a separate pan reduce the broth by half or more. Then cool, freeze in ice cube trays, pop your broth cubes out into a gallon baggie and return to freezer.

Put more water over the bones/skin/fat and cook for another day, longer if needed. Strain out the bones. They will be soft enough to mush up with your fingers, except the middles of the weight-bearing bones. You can toss the hard bones in the fire, and they become part of the ash you could use to supplement your compost in the garden. Return the mushy bones to the pan and add carrot peels, leftover mashed potatoes or rice, small amounts of green beans, stale corn tortillas, anything that is good for dogs. Cook until done, hit the whole thing with the immersion blender, cool, freeze in ice cube trays, pop into baggies, return to freezer. The dogs love these dog popsicles in the hot summer. In the winter, we serve them in a bowl, melted.

Important reminder: If you ever try to make chicken and noodles out of the wrong ice cubes, you will understand the importance of large clear labeling on your baggies. Thanks. – Brenda from AR

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