Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ida's Homemade Chicken & Pastini Soup...

I have a super amazing soup to share...my best friend Ida makes the best homemade chicken noodle soup...actually I call it chicken and pastini soup because she doesn't use the traditional noodles....she uses any small pastini (any small pasta shapes) like ditalini (mini tubular pasta), stelline (stars), pastina (tiny bead sized pasta), and sometimes ravioli but really, you can use whatever pasta you want....go crazy!

I've had alot of homemade chicken noodle soups before and I think what sets this one apart from the rest is the addition of the tomato (who would have thought?!) and the bouillon cube...it's really easy to make and you can add almost anything you want to it (or replace ingredients)...it is really adaptable...she makes it for us often because she knows we go crazy for it...I finally asked her for the recipe so she gave me approximate amounts for the ingredients...

Picture Courtesy of Cooking Light

Ida's Homemade Chicken & Pastini Soup
2 chicken thighs with skin on
1 large tomato
3-4 carrots peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
3-4 stalks celery, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 chicken bouillon cube like from Knorr
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 lb. of pasta of your choice
Grated parmesan for serving

Directions:
Put the chicken into a large soup pot.
Add everything but the pasta and cover completely with cold water.
Bring to a simmer and simmer gently for two hours or until the chicken is falling off the bones.
Take the meat off the bones and return it to the pot with the broth.
Bring the broth back to a simmer for a few minutes, and then add noodles and cook just until they have softened.
Adjust seasoning and serve. Add water as needed.

Note: the following day you might have to skim the fat off the top of the soup after refridgerating....

Watermelon-Feta Salad with Balsamic

My best friend made this for New Year's eve...it was one of the best salads I've ever had! Super yummy and sooo easy to put together!

Image Courtesy of Coastal Living

Watermelon-Feta Salad with Balsamic

4-6 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (optional)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

In a large bowl, gently toss together all ingredients.

Makes about 4-6 servings.