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Soup Season Returneth

It is soup season again. The days have grown shorter, the weather cooler, and while there is no freezing temps yet, it feels time to dig into some yummy soups, maybe even bake some bread... mmm, soup and bread.

Yesterday, as I tidied some of the yard up, gathering sticks and tree branches from the windy night before, I noticed I had a very healthy basil plant growing. It actually seeded itself and was growing right next to one of our seating stumps around the firepit. I didn't feel like making pesto, but I didn't want such a fine specimen to go to waste, so I decided to create a soup. And here it is!

Hearty Chicken Pasta Soup

4 carrots, sliced thin

1 onion, chopped

3 celery stalks, sliced thin

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp pepper

1 cup fresh diced basil

2 cups dry rotini pasta (really, you can use any pasta)

10 cups chicken stock (I use the bouillon squares and 10 cups water)

1 pound boneless chicken (I used chicken breast tenderloins)

Spices: rosemary, pepper, garlic salt, paprika, oregano

In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil, the carrots, onion, celery, garlic and pepper and saute over medium high heat for three minutes, then add the basil and cook until onions are translucent.

Add the pasta and chicken stock, raise heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the pasta is cooked.

While waiting for the soup to boil, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to a skillet, sprinkle the chicken with garlic salt, pepper, rosemary, oregano, and paprika, and place face down in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add more of the seasonings to the bare side of the chicken, wait until it is nicely browned, then turn it over and cook the other side. After chicken has completely cooked through, transfer it back to a clean chopping board and dice it up and add it to the soup.

The basil in this soup will really come through after sitting overnight in the fridge. If you can wait for it that long. Me? I was digging in as soon as I finished!

Quick and easy and full of flavor. Just the thing I look for in a soup!

We moved the dressers around a few weeks ago, they serve perfectly as kitchen cabinets. Plenty of storage, a work surface, and built-in dining as well.

This dresser needs another custom stained top. But I'm busy with a writing project right now, so instead, I simply added a couple of coats of stain to it. It will serve just fine this way until I have time to create another stained art project. When I do, I'll simply flip it over and design the other side. Meanwhile, the kids will have somewhere to eat at, since we seem to eat mostly in the kitchen in different shifts (kids get hungry at different times and I practice intermittent fasting).

We made this overhang a little deeper than the last one. Which is good, because I kept banging my knees on the other one! This one will be comfortable for all of us, kids and adults.

And if you are wondering what I'm talking about with "stained art" - below is a picture of the other dresser/countertop I did, which is currently nestled under the metal wall shelves in the picture to the left. It's now painted the darker blue as well.

Anyway, that's what I'm up to on this fine Sunday. Cooking, cleaning, and child-wrangling. What about you? What are you up to?

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