The damp chill in the air for the past few days has me craving comfort food. The garden is mostly dormant, but still producing a few tasty treasures. Next year, I’ll do a better job with late-summer planting to extend the harvest. But this year, we’ll have to make due.
I made homemade chicken potpie with a few of the remaining garden carrots. Another night, we had meatloaf with a green salad and a few straggler tomatoes off the vine. Tonight, we were going to have a roasted chicken, but the after school schedule got the best of me. It was time to improvise.
My solution: End of Summer Soup
My almost-final garden harvest included a handful of grape tomatoes, three carrots, a healthy bunch of swiss chard with pretty fuchsia stems, about 7 scarlet runner beans (a type of green bean), a handful of tomatoes and a bunch of basil.
Combined with chicken stock, a boiled chicken breast, leftover meatloaf and a bag of frozen ravioli, it made a quick meal that celebrated the fresh taste of summer and the yummy, comfort foods of fall. It was a bit like Italian Wedding Soup with a twist.
I’m not known for recipes. My cooking, like my blog, and my life, is a bit of “here and there.” But I typed up a few of the details in case you want to use them as a take-off point for your next fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants dinner. The measurements are estimates, so make it how you like it.
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, smashed or chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 large celery stalk, chopped
- 5 stems of Swiss Chard, washed and chopped, separate the stems from the leaves
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, slice in half
- 1 cup green beans, cut in bite-sized pieces
- Basil – 10 leaves, chopped
- 2 large cans of chicken stock
- 1 boneless chicken breast, defrosted, (mostly)
- a few slices of leftover meatloaf, diced into half inch cubes – About 1 cup chopped
- 1 bag of bite-sized cheese ravioli
- Salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion, garlic celery, carrots and swiss chard stems over med/high heat for about 5 minutes. or until they are slightly soft.
Add the grape tomatoes and cook until slightly soft. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Add whole chicken breast, salt, pepper and basil. Allow the breast to boil slowly until cooked. Add chopped swiss chard leaves and green beans. Cook until tender.
Remove the chicken breast with a slotted spoon to cool. Add ravioli and meatloaf and allow to simmer slowly for about 10 minutes. Shred the chicken meat and add to the pot.