Hearty Italian Chicken and Autumn Veggie Soup, and Gratitude for the Simple Pleasures

Hearty Italian Chicken and Autumn Veggie Soup | thecozyapron.com

It gives me a lot of joy and contentment to find pleasure in something simple.

Just before sitting down to write, I decided to spend a few moments sitting in a chair in the back yard in utter silence just listening to the world around me, soaking up the milder rays of the warming sun (and some much needed vitamin D).

And just from those few, precious moments that I gave myself for refreshment, my spirit feels calmed and quieted; it feels lifted up.

I feel at peace, and full of gratitude and awareness for the gift of a simple pleasure, and what it can do for me.

Hearty Italian Chicken and Autumn Veggie Soup | thecozyapron.com

Hearty Italian Chicken and Autumn Veggie Soup | thecozyapron.com

Autumn awakens my sentimental side; it seems far more melancholy (the good kind) than summer ever would be, and I guess I kinda like that about it.

It coaxes me into daydreams, and sets my imagination ablaze with images of how I’d like to spend my quiet moments, whether curled up on my couch in the evening in my robe with my Kindle, reading; or in the kitchen preparing some fall-inspired fare for the people in my life that I love and cherish.

Hearty Italian Chicken and Autumn Veggie Soup | thecozyapron.com

For me, there’s a simple pleasure in the reddish-golden sunset of the fall, and in the plethora of orange and yellow butterflies that I see touch the petals of the fall flowers.

There’s a simple pleasure in the way that the water in a small pond reflects the light, making it look like little particles of stars that have fallen to earth; or in nature, this complex magnificence that surrounds us that God has provided us with, where we can search out our Creator’s hidden qualities as to better understand and experience Him.

Hearty Italian Chicken and Autumn Veggie Soup | thecozyapron.com

Hearty Italian Chicken and Autumn Veggie Soup | thecozyapron.com

Simple pleasures are found in the very food that this season provides us with in the golden-orange, green and red offerings that it births.

The flavors are familiar and perfect for what a soul in the autumn longs for.

Hearty Italian Chicken and Autumn Veggie Soup | thecozyapron.com

Hearty Italian Chicken and Autumn Veggie Soup | thecozyapron.com

Each bite of a hearty Italian chicken and autumn veggie soup contains little bursts of fall; it contains little tastes of the very best elements that it produces.

And the simple pleasure found in a bowl of this earthy soup feeds not only the physical part of us, but the inner, quieter part that longs for a connection to that which is greater than we are—to the One who’s hands gave shape to what we ingest and use as sustenance.

Hearty Italian Chicken and Autumn Veggie Soup | thecozyapron.com

A few moments of peace and quiet in the autumn afternoon sun can do wonders for one’s spirit, just as a bowl of colorful and savory autumn soup can.

And there’s nothing complicated about these things; they’re just a pair of simple pleasures that make everyday living that much more delicious.

And for those simple little things, I hope to remain forever hungry, and forever in gratitude.

Taste what’s good and pass it on.


{ 46 comments… add one }

  • Kiara October 5, 2014, 5:31 pm

    I’ve been following a long time but haven’t commented til now. WHAT A SOUP.

    • The Cozy Apron October 5, 2014, 9:37 pm

      I appreciate your comment, Kiara—thank you! And thanks for following!

  • Rebekah October 7, 2014, 6:28 pm

    This post is one of the most beautiful I have ever read on any blog. Simply delightful and filled with my own sentiments and deep gratitude ! Plus an exquisite recipe :)

    Thank you!

  • Alisha October 8, 2014, 7:14 pm

    Hi Ingrid! Looks like another wonderful recipe I can’t wait to try! I have a question though, when you say 2 bone-in, skin-on split chicken breasts, does that mean 2 whole breasts (4 individual total) or 2 half breasts (2 total)?
    Thanks! :)

    • The Cozy Apron October 8, 2014, 7:22 pm

      Hi Alisha! Great question, and I’m glad to have a chance to clear that up in case anyone else will wonder; it’s 2 half breasts, or 2 total. I really do hope you try this soup out, and thank you for stopping by!

      • Alisha October 10, 2014, 11:27 am

        Thanks Ingrid! I’ll be shopping for the ingredients today. And I also have your Apricot-Pineapple Sticky Chicken over Toasted Rice on the menu for next week too – it’s my second time cooking that and it is just delicious!!!
        Love all your recipes! Keep ’em coming! :)

        • The Cozy Apron October 10, 2014, 2:03 pm

          Alisha, yay!!! I’m so excited. Please enjoy this, and also the sticky chicken. And thanks for taking a moment to comment; I always appreciate knowing that the folks are enjoying the recipes! Happy cooking! :-)

  • Lorrie October 13, 2014, 3:42 pm

    First time visitor and just had to make this soup when I saw the pictures. So glad I did, it was fabulous. I just had to add 2 more cups of stock since I had two large bone-in split chicken breasts. I served with garlic bread. Family loved it. I will be making again throughout the winter.

  • The Cozy Apron October 13, 2014, 8:47 pm

    Lorrie, that’s fantastic—I’m thrilled that you and your family enjoyed this soup, and that you plan on making this again to keep you all cozy-comfy during the winter! Thanks so much for stopping by; and I hope you can find a few more soups/stews or other warming recipes to try out, as well!

  • SaumyA October 16, 2014, 8:01 pm

    hi, this soup looks delicious- but unfortunately is not vegetarian- any suggestions as to what I can replace the chicken with?
    Thanks and looking fwd to your reply :)

  • The Cozy Apron October 17, 2014, 1:05 pm

    Hi there! Great question—you can substitute vegetable stock for the chicken; and as far as the chicken meat is concerned, you can just leave it out; or, substitute some ground soy (it looks like ground beef, and can be found at Whole Foods Market or Trader Joes) if you’d like a little texture. Also, you could substitute seitan, which is meat-like, as well. Hope you enjoy!

  • Liz October 18, 2014, 1:57 pm

    Thank you for the lovely soup recipe.

  • cherish October 26, 2014, 2:10 pm

    Made this soup today utterly fantastic! !! Thank you

  • Ana Poblet-Kouttjie October 31, 2014, 12:18 am

    I am so pleased that I came across this recipe! My whole family loved it! It also made quite the impression with all of its lovely colors and aroma. It sure involved a lot of chopping but I found it to be the best soup I have ever made by far!

    • The Cozy Apron November 1, 2014, 9:34 am

      Ana, I’m so very happy to read that! Yes; there’s a bit of extra elbow grease involved, but as you can taste, it’s so very worth it in the end! Thank you for your comments.

  • Sarah Childs November 10, 2014, 5:58 am

    Made this soup this weekend for dinner guests and it was a huge hit! The bonus was that my house smelled great from it simmering on the stove. This recipe is definitely going in the “keep” file :)

    • The Cozy Apron November 10, 2014, 1:35 pm

      Sarah, I’m so thrilled to read that—awesome! Glad you all enjoyed, and that this one’s a “keeper”! :-)

  • Donna Collins November 11, 2014, 11:49 am

    The best soup I have ever made.

    • The Cozy Apron November 11, 2014, 3:49 pm

      Donna, that warms my heart just reading that! Thanks so much for sharing with me!

  • TheSooz November 21, 2014, 1:33 pm

    3 *heads* of garlic? I’m going to assume she meant 3 cloves because 3 heads of garlic is a ridiculous amount of garlic…

    EDIT: Sorry, I just noticed that they are to be roasted. Still…that’s a lot of garlic. But not as bad as putting fresh garlic in.

  • The Cozy Apron November 21, 2014, 3:08 pm

    Hi there, yes it sure can seem like a lot of garlic! But I appreciate that you mentioned that you noticed that it was roasted, and not fresh; that makes a really big difference! It is much sweeter and mellower. So if you’re thinking about giving this soup a try, I would really love to urge you to try it out exactly as it is—I don’t believe you’ll regret it! :-)

    • Andrea December 2, 2014, 7:53 am

      I generally think the more the merrier when it comes to garlic! So excited to try this soup, I’m making it for everyone tonight. It looks so yummy!

      • The Cozy Apron December 2, 2014, 2:37 pm

        Yes!! :-) I really think you’ll enjoy this, and I’d love to know how it turns out for you, Andrea!

  • Karen December 15, 2014, 1:40 am

    This soup is sooooo awesome. I made a vegetarian version with kidney beans and chickpeas. I also added chopped up mushrooms that I sautéed for a long time with the onion. It is really really good, thanks for the recipe :)

    • The Cozy Apron December 16, 2014, 10:12 pm

      Thanks, Karen! Glad you made this recipe in your own unique way! :-)

  • Katie January 9, 2015, 4:58 pm

    This looks delicious but I’m not a huge fan of gnocchi. Can that simply be left out or would you recommend a substitute?


    • The Cozy Apron January 9, 2015, 7:27 pm

      Hi Katie, they can totally be left out. I would suggest that you use a favorite type of pasta as a substitute—perhaps little ditalini, macaroni or even orzo would be good! Hope you enjoy!

  • Emily Heath January 11, 2015, 7:07 pm

    This soup looks fantastic! Do you think it will freeze well? Thx!

    • The Cozy Apron January 11, 2015, 7:52 pm

      Hi Emily, I think it would freeze just fine! I would skip freezing the gnocchi, though, as their texture may become gummy and strange; just prepare those at the time you plan on serving the soup, as they’re super quick to cook, anyway! Hope you enjoy.

  • Aislinn January 13, 2015, 7:08 am

    The soup was what I came to see, but your words about autumn and taking a moment to appreciate what God has given us was the true treasure here. Thank you for that.

    p.s. I am looking forward to trying the soup too. 😀

    • The Cozy Apron January 13, 2015, 3:38 pm

      Aislinn, I really appreciate your comments. Thanks for that. And I truly do hope that you enjoy this warming and hearty soup, as well!

  • Jill January 26, 2015, 8:19 am

    Wow! What a terrific recipe! So beautiful, hearty and healthy. The roasted garlic makes it. I am especially in love with your chicken breast method. You get so much more flavor out of them cooking them that way, not to mention it’s cheaper. It was so tasty I had to stop myself from eating all it. Thank you so much! This will definitely be making its way into the rotation.

    • The Cozy Apron January 26, 2015, 2:27 pm

      Jill, thanks so much! Yes, the chicken keeps a lot more of its flavor; and when a method is more cost effective, that’s always a plus, right? So glad you enjoyed this recipe, and thanks for sharing your experience with me!

  • Mélina March 25, 2015, 5:43 pm

    I just made this soup for dinner… and it was AMAZING!!! It tasted like comfort 😀 It ended up being more of a stew than a soup… maybe I would add some broth to make it more into a soup… maybe I had too many veggies in it… anyhow… it was wonderful. My house still smells like it and I’m in love… The BF loved it too… he’s in love! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! 😀

    • The Cozy Apron March 27, 2015, 11:40 am

      Hi Melina, so glad you both enjoyed the soup! My pleasure to share it, and thank you for taking a moment to let me know how your experience with it was!

  • Robin G September 7, 2015, 8:43 pm

    Your blog was spiritually lifting for me.
    I’m making this soup this week. It sounds wonderful.
    Autumn is my favorite time of year and makes me want soup!!!

    • The Cozy Apron September 8, 2015, 2:16 pm

      Robin, your words mean so very much! Thank you for stopping by to share you thoughts, and I’m so honored that you were uplifted. I hope that you will enjoy this recipe, and feel comforted by it!

  • Suzanne September 15, 2015, 11:31 pm

    I’m making this soup right now, it smells so delicious. Can’t wait to taste it when it’s all done. I’ll hope to be making this frequently. Thank you, its a wonderful recipe.

    • The Cozy Apron September 16, 2015, 5:45 pm

      Hi Suzanne, I certainly hope you enjoy the recipe! And thank you for your kind comments!

  • Vanessa October 16, 2015, 3:56 pm

    I must admit when I read 3 heads of garlic I also thought WHAT! So glad I trusted you! This soup is fantastic! I substituted spinach because I didn’t get out to the garden before dark, tasted great but will definitely use kale next time! This soup is so healthy that I couldn’t bear to add the gnocchi. I may cook up some farro or quinoa next time, but felt it was hearty enough without.

    • The Cozy Apron October 17, 2015, 7:30 am

      Hi Vanessa, glad you trusted me, lol!! 😉 I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the soup, and the farro or quinoa would be a great substitute.

  • Nadine October 21, 2015, 9:15 pm

    The best soup…ever! I make soup all the time, but this one was started in my cast iron skillet; and I believe that made a huge difference. Love it.. who knew cheese rind was part of a soup. Thank you ..my family will enjoy this for a long time.

    • The Cozy Apron October 22, 2015, 1:18 pm

      Nadine, that is awesome! So glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for taking a moment to share your experience with me.

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