Friday, September 2, 2011

Rustic Vegetable and Polenta Soup

Adapted slightly from Giada De Laurentiis' recipe

Labor Day weekend is upon us.  (Have sweeter words than "three day weekend" ever been uttered?)  After the hellish week we've had, we decided that we're going to keep things low key this weekend.  There will be lots of much-needed sleeping, relaxing, and eating (and I suppose catching up on my reading from the first week of classes... if I must).  We'll hit up teh farmers' market on Sunday, and we will probably take Maeby to the park on Sunday and let her get her sniffs in, too.  

Also, the Grand Prix is in town for the weekend, and it's making travel within the city a real PITA, if you catch my drift.  So that's just another reason we've decided to just stay in, and hang out.  At any rate, I saw Giada make this soup while watching reruns on the Food Network a week or so ago, and thought it might be tasty.    

You'll need:

3 tbs olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, chopped
salt and pepper
2 tbs fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tsp dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
2 medium zucchini, diced (I used one zucchini and 1 yellow summer squash)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup instant polenta (all I could find at the store today was finely ground corn meal)
2 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup frozen corn
2 small chicken breast halves, seasoned, roasted in the oven, and then shredded

Very pretty veg

Cook your chicken ahead of time, so it has time to cool and you can shred it before starting the rest of the soup.  Giada's recipe doesn't call for meat of any kind, but Sean is a true carnivore at heart, so I felt like it needed some protein for his sake.  I seasoned mine with salt, pepper, and a little dried oregano before placing it in the oven.

In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the carrots, onions, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes.

Maeby looking very hopeful that I'll drop something.  

Add the parsley, thyme, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini and squash, and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Add the frozen corn.  Slowly stir in the polenta until the soup thickens and the vegetables are tender.

I then threw the shredded chicken into the soup and let it warm through.  Once you've reached this point, ladle up a big bowlful and dig in!  It was nice topped with some parmesan cheese.

Now that I've made it and tried it, I have a few post-cooking notes.

1. The finely ground corn meal worked really well, and wasn't gritty at all.  Be careful when adding it though.  It tends to clump up a bit.
2. I'm not sure that the butter added at the end really did anything in the way of flavor.  Next time I think I'll omit it and save on the unnecessary calories.
3. This would be really good on a cold fall or winter's night.  Although it's delicious right now, too! =)  


  1. Perfect soup for spring time. Thanks for sharing.

  2. So you cook the same way I do, with the dog at your feet? Our puppy hasn't figured this out yet, but he will one day. This soup looks amazing! Perfect for the impending fall season that I cannot wait for!

  3. @Kim (Feed Me, Seymour)Of course! Our pup is always under foot, especially while I'm cooking. She figured out a while ago that tasty bits often drop from above while I'm in the kitchen.

    I'm glad you liked this recipe. Thanks for stopping by! Can't wait for fall either! =)


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