Soupify Your Supper
January is National Soup Month, and I’ve been busy making homemade chicken stock in my slow cooker and using the flavorful broth as a base for several bellywarming bowls of soup. I’ve also enjoyed exploring new soup recipes, starting with a unique new cookbook. “SOUPified: Soups Inspired by Your Favorite Dishes” contains 31 cozy, comforting recipes — one for every day of January. Created by Michele Di Pietro, it transforms supper recipes into soups. “SOUPified” was released to coincide and celebrate National Soup Month, as well as inspire readers during another season of sheltering in place. Chef, culinary consultant and rising social media star (50k with a bullet), Di Pietro didn’t set out to create the perfect response to another snowy pandemic winter season, but that’s precisely what she did with her new book.
“I once read that every good soup tells a story,” Michele says. “So true!
“These soups were born out of the quarantine period of the COVID-19 pandemic, when I spent countless days being cooped up in a onebedroom New York City apartment with no outdoor space and a lot of extra time on my hands. I needed to focus on something positive, challenging and delicious,” she said. “I began by transforming a handful of favorite dishes into soup versions — things that were nourishing, hearty and spoonable — while still keeping the true essence of the dishes intact, or, in my parlance, I SOUPifed them. My desire soon grew into a full cookbook of SOUPifed recipes, which has never been done before.”
Recipes include SOUPified versions of Eggplant Parm, Lasagna, Shrimp Scampi, Philly Cheesesteak, Clams Casino, Chinese Egg Roll and one of my favorite suppers, Chicken Marsala in “Soupified” form. Portions are generous, and each recipe is scaled to feed either 4 to 6 or 6 to 8 hungry diners, yielding multiple meals in some instances, or freezer stashes for the future. SOUPified is a salute to National Soup Month, and the perfect way to spoon up a bowlful of your favorite comfort foods on a chilly winter day. SOUPIFIED CHICKEN MARSALA You can save time by using a 1 pound chopped, roasted or rotisserie chicken, and omitting the steps in the recipe for preparing and searing the raw chicken breast. Follow the recipe as directed for preparing the vegetables, and add the chopped roasted or rotisserie chicken into the pot along with the mushrooms and continue the recipe as directed. 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 2 cups diced shallots (about 4 shallots), or 1 small yellow onion, chopped 1 cup diced celery (about 3 to 4 ribs) 1 1/2 cups dry Marsala wine or grape juice 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1 pound white mushrooms, coarsely chopped 1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes, drained 1/4 cup heavy cream 2 cups cooked egg noodles or rice, optional 1. Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towel and season both sides with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Dredge breasts in 1/2 cup flour until coated on both sides. Shake off any excess flour. Set chicken aside on a plate.
2. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in 6-quart pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Transfer chicken breasts to pot and sear until browned on both sides (about 3 to 4 minutes per side). The chicken does not need to be fully cooked at this point. Transfer seared breasts to cutting board and let them rest for 3 minutes. Then cut them into bite-sized pieces (about 3/4-inch dice). Set aside.
3. Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter to pot and melt over medium heat. Add shallots or onions and celery, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables have softened a bit, stirring occasionally.
4. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup flour on top of shallot mixture; stir to coat, and continue stirring for 1 to 2 minutes while flour cooks. Gradually pour in wine or grape juice, and whisk mixture quickly to fully incorporate flour into liquid until smooth. Then stir to loosen and scrape up any browned bits on bottom of pot.
5. Add broth, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, the remaining salt and pepper, and reserved chicken. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
6. Cover pot and bring mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer, partially covered, until celery is soft and chicken is fully cooked (if using the seared chicken breasts, about 15 minutes).
7. Reduce heat to low. Then, whisk in cream and cook for another 3 minutes while stirring. Stir in the cooked egg noodles or rice, if desired. Remove the soup from the heat and serve immediately. Makes 6-8 servings.
Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is www.divapro. com. To see how-to videos recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis. (c) 2021 King Features Synd., Inc., and Angela Shelf Medearis