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Comfort food re-imagined is just as comforting

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It is always disturbing when we contemplate lightening up the dishes that we love to make. It is as though everything must be divided into that which tastes good and is called comfort food, and the light dishes that we think we should be eating for our health. But I don't think the two ideas are mutually exclusive, and I was happy to find the following recipe online. I have adapted it to organics so that you can go all the way to pure health and not have to give up chicken soup. This recipe will be just as warm and hearty as ever, and throw in some wine and crusty bread and you can invite someone special, perhaps for Valentine's Day when you have created some lovely dessert.

LIGHT CHICKEN SOUP

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces of organic chicken tenders, cut into bite-size chunks
1 small organic zucchini, finely diced
1 large organic shallot, finely chopped
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
2 organic plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
14 ounces organic chicken broth
¼ cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons small pasta such as Farfalle
1-½ cups packed baby spinach, chopped and stems removed

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the zucchini, shallot, Italian seasoning and salt and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth, wine and pasta; increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the pasta is tender, about 8 minutes, or according to package directions. Stir in the spinach, the cooked chicken and any accumulated juices from the chicken; cook, stirring, until the chicken is heated through, about 2 minutes. The spinach will wilt into the soup without any special attention.

No one is going to bring up the word, "light" in connection with this meal even though you have been really conscientious in cutting calories. It's just really good.

By the way, you can also use gluten-free pasta for those who steer clear of conventional pasta because of gluten.

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