I dig Food52. For those unfamiliar with it, it’s a website that celebrates home cooks. In their own words:
”We started small, with a single project: creating the first crowd-sourced cookbook in 52 weeks (that’s where the 52 in Food52 comes from!). We used recipe contests as a way to vet recipes so we’d have a book to publish and a site that would be a trustworthy, go-to recipe source. But these contests were also a handy way to bring together people for a shared purpose — to create something meaningful, valuable and enduring.’
My introduction to the website was through those recipe contests mentioned above. I’ve found that the contests push me outside of my comfort zone in the kitchen, and allows me to focus on CREATING my own recipes rather than adapting or following existing ones.
The contest for the week of 1/28 was “Your Best Noodle Soups.” My entry was inspired by a multitude of Greek and Italian flavors. This dish is like a soup, salad, and pasta dish all-in-one.
While hearty and warming, it has a light touch from the lemon and fresh herbs. The addition of romaine lettuce at the end may seem unusual, but in this case, it adds a flavor and texture that pairs well with the rest of the ingredients.
The pasta is an unique shape that I also use for acini de pepe pasta salad.
Spinach, kale or arugula could be used in place of the lettuce. This Lemon-Chicken & Pepe Soup comes together in about 20 minutes, and it’s perfect for healthful lunches throughout the week.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 scallions (white and green parts separated), chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 9 cups chicken stock, plus additional if needed
- 3/4 cup acini de pepe pasta
- 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (from a rotisserie chicken)
- 1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1-1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Red pepper flakes for garnish (optional)
- In a large saucepot, heat oil over medium heat. Add scallion whites and celery; cook 1 minute or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic, zucchini, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add stock, pasta and lemon zest; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook 9 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in chicken, beans, dill and parsley; cook over medium-low 2 minutes or until chicken and beans are heated through.
- Just before serving, stir in lettuce, lemon juice and scallion greens. If soup becomes too thick, stir in additional stock as needed. Serve garnished with red pepper flakes, if desired.