Chicken Soup with Rice-A-Roni – Creating something from Left-overs

We had a great weekend – and no time to cook! This weekend was the annual Celtic Faire in Sonoma, California. Kiddo, Hubby and I decided to spend the entire weekend in Sonoma, driving up Friday night after work to get a jump on the crowds. Saturday morning, we put on our costumes (this was the first year we dressed for the event – and yeah, that only added to the fun). As we put the final touches on our faire-going duds, we could hear the bag-pipes beginning to warm up for the opening parade. The sound was a call of sorts. As we ventured out from our motel room (just across the street from the fairgrounds) people were beginning to assemble – from all directions, people in costumes wandered down the street toward the faire. We stayed at the faire from the moment the gates opening until about an hour before the gates closed. As we walked the short distance back to the motel the first drops of rain began to fall. Our timing was perfect.

Sunday morning, it was up at dawn, with bags to pack and the long, wet drive home. Breakfast was on the road in Jackson, then down into the rain-soaked valley and home. There was laundry to do and shopping for the week ahead, so the last thing I wanted to deal with was a nice, home-cooked meal.

Soup on a rainy Sunday was the perfect choice. Best of all, it utilized the left-overs from earlier in the week. Chicken, Mexican Rice and some sliced onions all cooked up in a rich chicken stock. The beauty of soup is that you can make it out of whatever you happen to have on-hand. While you can cook up things just for soup, it’s not necessary. Have left-over vegetables? Throw them into a pot. How about some meat? Throw it into the pot. Use stock (not broth) for your liquid base, add a little seasoning and call it done.

Knowing that I wanted to make a pot of soup from the week’s left-overs, I planned ahead and cooked a little extra throughout the week. This soup was made with Mexican Rice-A-Roni, left over chicken and some corn, but you can use whatever you happen to have and the results will be a delicious soup.

Chicken Soup with Rice-A-Roni
2 Cups Chicken meat, cubed
2 Cups Left-over Rice-A-Roni, any flavor
1/2 White Onion, Chopped
1 Cup Left-over Vegetables (whatever is on hand)
3 Cups Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Celery Salt
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (from tube)

Cube left-over chicken, toss into slow cooker. Dump left-over Rice-A-Roni (or pasta noodles). Add left-over vegetables.

Pour chicken stock into the pot, enough to create a nice liquid base for the soup. Add some chopped onions for added flavor. Add celery salt and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and cook on LOW for about 4-6 hours or on HIGH for about 2-3 hours for flavors to come together.

Depending upon Rice-A-Roni flavor used, serve with warm bread or Corn Muffins.

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