Sarasota's Speedy Chicken Cacciatore Soup

"This was in a small cookbook I bought at a Christmas Holiday Sale, probably 10 years back. It was submitted by Ellen Yatze, from Ft. Myers Florida. Ellen, it is a great soup! It is funny how going through my old recipe boxes, I have all these old hand written recipes, I have yet to type up - ones I simply forgot about. The title says it all. But what I like about this is how quick it cooks up. Other than chopping your chicken (I used a store bought rotisserie) and basil, and cooking the bacon, the rest is open the can or jar and add to the pot. Simmer for 15 minutes and you have a hearty soup. By all means, when I have time, I would be using chicken breasts, fresh onions and would roast my own red peppers, but the whole idea behind this soup is "quick!" She suggested serving it with some parmesan polenta and of course with the olive garnish."
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Ready In:
4 Large bowls


  • 4 slices bacon, diced (then sauteed)
  • 1 lb chicken, diced (about 1/2 rotisserie chicken is what I used, but you can more or less if you want)
  • 1 cup onion, diced (I use the pre-diced frozen onions, you can get them pre-diced right from the produce section too)
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms (I used the pre-sliced mushrooms from the produce section)
  • 34 cup roasted red pepper, diced (right from a jar)
  • 12 green pepper (thin sliced in 1-inch pieces) (optional)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomatoes, diced, Italian blend if possible
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 12 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Garnish

  • 13 cup black olives, chopped (buy the can that is pre-chopped)
  • 13 cup green olives, chopped
  • olive oil
  • cheesy polenta (quick cooking polenta and parmesan cheese)


  • Bacon -- In a large pot, saute your bacon in 1 teaspoon olive oil on medium heat until crisp.
  • Vegetables -- To the bacon and drippings, add your onions, mushrooms, garlic and cook until slightly softened, just a couple of minutes. Add in the roasted red pepper, Optional green pepper, red pepper flakes and cook another minute.
  • Broth -- Add the red wine and vinegar and cook just a minute scraping up any bits off the bottom of the pan. Add in the broth, tomatoes, and chicken. Check for seasoning (salt and pepper). Lower to medium low heat and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes. Finish with the fresh basil the last couple of minutes.
  • Garnish -- As your soup is simmering, make your garnish and polenta. For the olives -- in a small bowl, fine chop and mix the two olives together and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. I like a mix of black and green, but use what you like best - and let people help themselves. And for the polenta, simply make your favorite kind. I used a quick cooking which was. Two (2) cups chicken broth and 1/2 cup polenta, and stir in 1/2 cup parmesan right at the end, salt and pepper. I used quick cooking so 5 minutes and it was done. Use your favorite.
  • Serve -- A couple of ladles per bowl, top with a scoop of the cheesy polenta and garnish with the olives.

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  1. Meredith C-ville
    Yum! I did not do all the speedy options (just because of ingredients that I had) but it was still not very involved. I used 2 onions and a whole green pepper, and did not end up adding any chicken broth because the other stuff made for enough liquid (and I like it thicker anyway). For the bacon, I tried a baggie of crumbles, which of course did not provide the drippings but did provide quite a lot of flavor. While it was cooking, I was told several times how good it smelled in the kitchen. I just put the olives in with the soup (and only added very minimal salt), and for my cheesy polenta, I had leftover polenta/grits from a previous night, which I cut into cubes and baked, so we had that part as polenta 'croutons'. It was a very tasty and easy meal and I was able to get other kitcheny stuff done as I was gradually pulling it together. It has a lot of interesting flavor for a very easy recipe.


<p>Growing up in Michigan, I spent my summers at my cottage in the Northern part up by Traverscity. On a lake, big garden which had all the vegetables you could imagine. My mom taught school, so summers were our vacation time. Gramps and I fished all the time so fresh fish was always on the menu, perch, blue gill, walleye and small and large mouth bass. At age 5 I learned how to clean my own fish and by 10 I was making dinner, canning vegetables and fruits, making pies and fresh breads. Apples fresh picked every fall, strawberries in June and July, Cherries at the Cherry Festival in Traverscity. So fresh foods always were a big part. Mom worked as a teacher during the year so dinner was more traditional with pot roasts, meatloaf, etc, but it seemed we always had fresh fruits and vegetables as part of the meal. Mom also didn't use as many spices as I do, but times were different back then. <br /> <br />So ... My motto is ... There is NO Right and NO Wrong with cooking. So many people thing they have to follow a recipe. But NO ... a recipe is a method and directions to help and teach someone. Cooking is about personal tastes and flavors. I love garlic ... and another person may not. I like heat ... but you may not. Recipes are building blocks, NOT text ground in stone. Use them to make and build on. Even my recipes I don't follow most times --They are a base. That is what cooking is to me. A base of layer upon layer of flavors. <br /> <br />I still dislike using canned soups or packaged gravies/seasoning ... but I admit, I do use them. I have a few recipes that use them. But I try to strive to teach people to use fresh ingredients, they are first ... so much healthier for you ... and second, in the end less expensive. But we all have our moments including me. <br /> <br />So, lets see ... In the past, I have worked as a hostess, bartender, waitress, then a short order cook, salad girl in the kitchen, sort of assistant chef, head chef, co owner of a restaurant ... now a consultant to a catering company/restaurant, I cater myself and I'm a personal chef for a elderly lady. I work doing data entry during the day, and now and then try to have fun which is not very often due to my job(s). <br /> <br />I have a 21 year old who at times is going on 12, aren't they all. Was married and now single and just trying to enjoy life one day at a time. I'm writing a cookbook ... name is still in the works but it is dedicated to those people who never learned, to cook. Single Moms, Dads, or Just Busy Parents. Those individuals that think you can't make a great dinner for not a lot of money. You can entertain on a budget and I want people to know that gourmet tasting food doesn't have to be from a can of soup or a box, and healthy food doesn't come from a drive through. There are some really good meals that people can make which are healthy and will save money but taste amazing. So I guess that is my current goal. We all take short cuts and I have no problem with that - I do it too. I volunteer and make food for the homeless every couple of months, donating my time and money. I usually make soup for them and many times get donations from a local grocery stores, Sams Club, Walmart etc, with broth, and vegetables. It makes my cost very little and well worth every minute I spend. Like anyone, life is always trying to figure things out and do the best we can and have fun some how along the way.</p>
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