Sometime it's really hot, as it was last week when we were working on the south side of the house repairing some water damage and it was over a hundred degrees. Sometimes the fog comes in and hasn't even burned off by noon, which is what happened today. That's summer in Northern California for 'ya.
When the fog stays around until after lunchtime, it's cool enough to enjoy a bowl of soup. Today I threw together a chicken vegetable bean one with a few things from the pantry and freezer and a few things from the garden. It's simple but good. The flavors are a bit Italian, and it's pretty hearty due to the beans and vegetables.
Fortunately the sun came out a little while ago and so it was fun to do a little gardening and some watercolor painting. I'm doing a portrait of my daughter, which is tricky. It won't look exactly like her, because I'm not that good, but I'm hoping that it looks enough like her to catch some of her loveliness and inner beauty.
1/2 onion, diced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 - 1 red pepper, diced
1 frozen chicken breast, thawed and cut in1 inch chunks...or use leftover cooked chicken
1 can cannelini or other white beans, drained but not rinsed
1 can chicken broth...or use homemade chicken broth
1 cup water
freshly ground black pepper...about 1/4 teaspoon, to taste
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning or dried thyme...or both
1 cup sugar snap or snow peas
1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced
In a saucepan, saute' the onion in the olive oil until translucent, about two minutes. Add the garlic, stir well and saute' another minute. Add the red pepper and saute' another minute. Add the chicken broth, white beans, including any sludge at the bottom of the can, the water, and the seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the snow or sugar snap peas & zucchini, cover, and heat over low heat one more minute. Serve. Can be garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.