Alphabet Soup

I like to think of my alphabet soup as more akin to that of FDR than that of Campbell’s. Much like the New Deal, it serves to aid recovery from your own Great Depression and unlike the can, it is packed with healthy ingredients that will leave guests of all ages saying “next time won’t you sing with me?!”


Alphabet soup

for all ages

Alphabet soup

Serves 4-6

1/2 yellow onion

3 cloves of garlic

Splash of olive oil 

Small knob of butter 

3 medium carrots (I use rainbow for fun)

3 medium stalks of celery trimmed

1 small rotisserie chicken

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp black pepper

1 TB coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce

1 TB Worcestershire sauce

1 heaped TB double concentrate tomato paste

2 bay leaves

1 can of tomato sauce (unseasoned)

1 carton (4 cups) low sodium chicken stock

Alphabet pasta - I eyeball ½of a 1lb bag of World Market Kids ABC Pasta because it’s slightly bigger and sturdier so doesn't get mushy. You should also try Banza’s chickpea alphabet pasta offering! Same shape - just a little healthier!

Handful of kale 

Optional squeeze of lemon


This soup is particularly good if you cut the contents very small so the pasta is the dominant feature. It's a little bit of work but it’s worth it. That said, with small bits you’re running the risk of mush so pay careful attention to timing.

Mince the onion and garlic. Cut the carrots into quarters lengthways and dice, and cut the celery stalks in half or thirds lengthways and dice. Cut all the meat off of the rotisserie chicken, but we are only using half so save the rest for a salad tomorrow. Finely shred/ dice half of the chicken (literally half: one breast, one thigh, one drum, one wing). You want everything (veg and meat) to be about the same size and you want it to be small.  Retain the rotisserie chicken bones and other leftover bits. Swizzle your olive oil around in a heavy bottomed pot on medium to low heat. Melt in the butter. Add the onion and garlic until fragrant and starting towards soft, about 3 min. Add in carrots and celery and cook for a further 3 min. Stir in paprika, chili p, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and coconut aminos and cook for one minute. Add in the chicken bones and remnants of your rotisserie chicken paying attention to how many pieces you put in because you have to go fishing later. Add in bay leaves, tomato sauce and the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 min.

In the mean time bring a pot of salted water to boil, add in the pasta and undercook it by about 2 minutes. I cooked my World Market ABCs for 4 1/2 mins. When pasta is ready, scoop out one cup of pasta water and set it aside. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop from further cooking or sticking together. Remove chicken bones and bay leaves from soup using a slotted spoon or fork. If you listened to me earlier and made everything small they will be easy to find. Stir in the diced chicken, pasta and pasta water. Simmer for about 5 mins. During this time finely chop up your kale. Take soup off the heat.  Stir in kale, check your seasonings and add a little water or a squeeze of lemon if it needs it.

Serve with a sippy cup of wine.  

Mary Bell ClementComment