Do you make your own chicken stock or do you have a favorite boxed stock? I do both depending on what I'm making. There is no substitute for homemade stock for some dishes, such as Southern Style Chicken & Dumplings and Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Soup, but there is great boxed stock and broth being made for our convenience now and since low-sodium and low-fat varieties are available, they are also much healthier than they used to be.
Price-wise, two boxes of really good quality stock (8 cups) will run you about $8.00 and the time it takes to open and pour them into your stock pot. Yesterday I made "from scratch" stock and it cost me $12 to make 8 cups, but then I had the bonus of the chicken to use and my house smelled fabulous all afternoon. So it was a wash as far as the price, but it also took about 3 hours to make and most days I just don't have that much time.
I made a great soup with my stock and vegetables from my daughter's garden. I've streamlined this recipe so you won't have to spend 3 hours making the stock before you even begin to make the soup. Using rotisserie chicken speeds up the process even more and you'll have a delicious, healthy and colorful meal in about 30 minutes!
Chicken Vegetable Soup with Tortellini
2 boxes good chicken broth or chicken stock (8 cups)
1 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped
1 medium yellow squash, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag (9-16 oz.) frozen tri-color cheese tortellini
4 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 T. fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 T. tsp. fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 rotisserie chicken, skinned and boned
- Pour broth or stock into stock pot.
- Add zucchini, yellow squash, onion, celery, carrots and garlic; cover and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add tortellini and tomotoes. Run your knife through the fresh herbs to roughly chop them and add them to the pot. Cover and bring to boil; reduce heat to simmer for 3 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat and stir in the chicken. Adjust seasoning. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.