January is a great month for getting back on track. The holidays and every delicious, fatty bite are gone and the time for overindulgence passed. This soup is just right for getting into a healthy routine, and is still hearty enough to serve for dinner. The recipe is from my mother-in-law who first had it at Green Mountain Inn in Stowe, Vermont.
Chicken Soup with Roasted Vegetables and Wild Rice
1 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
2 cups water (I use 3)
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and halved
2 medium onions, halved
2 medium carrots, cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips
3 sweet peppers (yellow and red) halved and seeded
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic (about 6 cloves)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
8 cups chicken broth
2 -2 1/2 lb meaty chicken pieces (I use one whole cooked roaster)
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian flat leaf) parsley
In a medium saucepan combine the wild rice and water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 40 to 45 minutes or until rice is tender; drain. Cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large roasting pan combine fennel, onions, carrots and peppers. Add olive oil, garlic, salt and black pepper; toss well. Roast uncovered in a 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are browned and just tender. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool, chop all vegetables and set aside.
In a 5-6 quart Dutch oven combine chicken stock and chicken pieces. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered 20-25 minutes or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from stock. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones. Discard bones and skin. Cut meat into bite-size pieces. Return meat to chicken stock along with the rice.
Stir in the chopped vegetables, tomatoes, thyme, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in parsley. Season to taste with additional salt and ground pepper.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.