If you prefer, substitute tubetini or penne for the ziti in this recipe if you prefer smaller pieces of pasta in your soups. This is a warm, comforting soup for cold, wintry nights, but equally at home in summer.

Chicken Minestrone

Minestrone Chicken
Recipe type: Soups and Stews
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 Cups uncooked ziti, tubetini or penne pasta (8 ounces)
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken-breast halves; fresh or frozen (about 1 1/3 pounds total)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion; (for 1 Cup chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 5 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 medium bell pepper; (for 1 Cup chopped)
  • 2 cans Italian-style stewed tomatoes; (14 1/2 ounce ea)
  • 1 can chickpeas (19 ounces)
  • 1 can sliced black olives; (2 1/4 ounces)
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • grated Parmesan cheese; optional
  1. Place ziti in 2 1/2 quarts of boiling unsalted water. Cook until just tender, 12 to 14 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, if the chicken is frozen, run hot water over it so that you can remove any packaging. Place chicken on a microwave-safe plate and microwave 3 minutes, uncovered on high, to begin thawing.
  3. While chicken thaws, heat oil over medium heat in an extra-deep, 12-inch, nonstick skillet.
  4. Peel and coarsely chop the onion, adding it to the skillet as you chop.
  5. Raise heat to medium-high.
  6. Cut chicken into bite-size chunks, adding them to the skillet as you cut. Add garlic and Italian seasoning.
  7. Stir from time to time.
  8. Seed bell pepper; cut into bite-size chunks, adding them to the skillet as you cut.
  9. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is no longer pink outside, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes.
  10. Rinse and drain chickpeas; add to skillet.
  11. Drain olives; add to skillet.
  12. Raise heat to high; cook until sauce thickens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.
  13. When ziti is done, drain it well and add it to skillet.
  14. Stir to coat noodles with sauce.
  15. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  16. Serve at once, topping with Parmesan cheese to taste.
You may substitute frozen corn niblets for the chickpeas (if you don't like them); green peas make a great substitute for olives. Minestrone isn't about a fixed recipe. It is all about adding flavors to enrich the soup.


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