My original plan was to modify this recipe a bit and use leftover turkey. As it turned out I didn’t have enough leftover turkey, but I am glad it worked that way. I had four chicken legs sitting in the freezer with no plans for them and they worked great in this soup along with a chicken breast. Bone-in skin-on chicken makes for tasty stock for the soup, as does a little dark meat.
This recipe is half the original and still produces six large servings.
It is wonderful as leftovers too as I found out for lunch today. The flavors meld and everything gets extra delicious after sitting a few days.
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
½ Box Ditalini Pasta (Very Short Macaroni-Type Pasta Noodles)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ Whole Chicken – Breasts, Legs, Thigh Or Any Combination – I used one large breast and 4 legs
4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
½ Whole Medium Onion, Diced
1 Whole Red Bell Peppers, Diced
1 Stalks Celery, Diced
1 Whole Fresh Jalapeno pepper, Diced
1 ½ tsp Olive Oil
1 Can (14-Ounce) Can Whole Tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup Heavy Cream
⅛ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Minced Fresh Oregano
Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
Parmesan Cheese Shavings or grated Parmesan, For Serving
Place chicken pieces in a large soup pot and cover with the chicken broth. Cover and bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let chicken sit in broth for an additional 30 minutes. Remove chicken, reserving broth and dice or chop chicken; discarding the skin and bones. Set aside the meat.
Cook pasta in a separate pot according to package directions (mine took about 8 minutes) being sure not to overcook it. Drain pasta and drizzle in a little olive oil to keep it from sticking together.
Dice canned tomatoes if using whole tomatoes and return them to their juice.
Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and oregano and turn off heat, stir constantly for one minute. Set this aside. You can also used dried oregano as the olive oil does a nice job reconstituting the flavor of the dried spice.
Pour chicken broth into a separate container and use the original soup pot to saute onion, red pepper, celery, and jalapeno in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, shredded chicken, and tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add cooked pasta, cream, and all the oregano and olive oil from the small skillet. Stir to combine and until desired temperature. Turn off heat.
Sprinkle with grated Parmesan or shavings. Bread is always good with soup too.