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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Cheesy Grilled Chicken Parmesan Soup with Fusilli Pasta and Fresh Basil

by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 6


• Olive or canola oil
• 1 onion, diced
• Salt
• Black pepper
• 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
• 1 teaspoon dry oregano
• 6 large cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2 (28 ounce) cans San Marzano whole tomatoes
• 2 ½ cups hot chicken stock
• ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
• 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 1 pound chicken tenderloins (or skinless, boneless chicken breasts), uncooked
• 8 ounces dry fusilli pasta (about half of a 1 pound package), cooked according to package instructions
• 8 ounce fresh mozzarella ball (the kind packed in water), crumbled or grated
• ¼ cup julienned fresh basil


-Place a large pot over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 4-5 tablespoons of the oil; once hot, add in the onion, a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, the Italian seasoning, and oregano, and saute for a few minutes until lightly golden and tender.

-Add in the garlic; once it becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste and stir that in to incorporate, and allow it to cook for about 30-45 seconds, just to cook out the raw flavor.

-Next, add in the canned tomatoes and the chicken stock, and stir to combine; bring this to a vigorous simmer, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

-White the soup simmers, sprinkle the chicken with some salt and pepper; place a grill pan onto medium-high heat, and grill the chicken for a few minutes on each side, until cooked through; allow it to cool until it can be handled, then slice into strips or chunks; set aside.

-Once the soup has simmered, puree it using a hand-held immersion blender (or even a regular blender, but work in batches since it’s hot); then, sprinkle in the ¾ cup of parmesan cheese and the chopped parsley, and whisk to blend well; check to see if any additional salt/pepper is needed.

-To serve, add some of the cooked pasta to an oven-safe bowl; ladle over some of the soup, then top with some of the chicken and about ¼ cup worth of the fresh mozzarella, plus a teaspoon or two of parmesan, and broil just for a moment or two to melt the cheese; serve with a little sprinkle of the fresh basil over top.

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