Spicy Italian Chicken Soup

This is a great twist on regular chicken soup.  It was inspired from a soup on the Carraba’s menu.  I am always trying to replicate great tasting recipes but with healthier ingredients.  I tend to like things extra spicy but you can adjust this soup to your liking.  You can even leave out the spice altogether!

Spicy Italian Chicken Soup

2 medium red potatoes (optional), peeled and diced.  (Red potatoes are less starchy than regular potatoes- Advanced Plan people, leave these out)

4 skin-on, bone-in organic chicken breasts

1 large organic bell pepper (any color), diced (remember, bell peppers are on the naughty list as far as pesticide load http://www.foodnews.org)

4 organic carrots, peeled and sliced

6 quarts filtered water

14 oz organic tomatoes w/ juice (chopped if needed)

1 large organic onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, sliced thin or put through a press

½ c. fresh parsley or 2 tbsp dried parsley Sea salt

Fresh ground black pepper

Crushed red pepper

Place vegetables, parsley, and garlic in a large stock pot.  Add water.  Add salt and pepper to your liking.  Putting lots of ground black pepper gives it the spice and you can add crushed red pepper to your liking as well.   (Remember, you will need quite a bit of salt because you are not adding salty bouillon cubes)

Bring to a boil.  Skim off any foam that rises to the top periodically.  Let simmer for 2 hours.

Remove chicken pieces and let cool.

Use a potato masher to smash the vegetables into smaller pieces.  The key to this soup is to make all the colors look like small pieces of confetti.

When the chicken is cool enough, remove the meat from the bones and add back to the soup and let simmer.  I prefer small shreds but you can make them as big as you want.  I only added back 2 of the breasts and used the other 2 for other purposes.

Chill the soup so that you can remove the fat that rises to the surface.  It is best to do this overnight.  Make extra so that you can have it for more than one meal.  I guarantee the whole family will like it!

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