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Rascal Flatts' Chicken Noodle SoupCompiled by Vicki McClure Davidson
Country trio Rascal Flatts shot to stardom with their debut album in 2000, and the success of their next releases, "Melt" and "Feels Like Today," made them one of country music's top-selling acts by the end of 2004. The popular country band is comprised of Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus, and Joe Don Rooney. LeVox and DeMarcus are second cousins, originally from Ohio. The band's sell-out tours are famous for their array of special effects, including videos, pyrotechnics, and laser lights.What exactly does the band's name Rascal Flatts mean? According to lead singer LeVox, in a 2002 interview with CMT News, "Rascal Flatts doesn't mean anything. Our logo is a dog that's flat and run over, but we were actually in a club — playing at the Fiddle & Steel Guitar Bar in Nashville — and we were getting ready to sign with Lyric Street and we didn't have a name. A buddy of ours said that was the name of his band back in the '60s, so that's how we got it."
Brief bio info from Answers.com:
DeMarcus moved to Nashville in 1992, LeVox followed in 1997 and the duo began performing in clubs. They were eventually joined by Rooney, who DeMarcus met while playing in a band for Chely Wright. Their first album yielded the hits "Prayin' for Daylight" and "I'm Movin' On. " Their second album, released in 2002, included the hits "Love You Out Loud " and "Mayberry," and their third album, released in 2004 was an immediate hit. Despite early criticism that they were a "boy band " who were more pop than country, Rascal Flatts earned the respect of the industry and became perennial nominees for all the major country music awards (they've won multiple CMA awards for best vocal group).
Brief bio info from Wikipedia:
In early 2000, the group made their debut with their single "Prayin' for Daylight." This song, which reached #1 on the Billboard country charts, was the first of four consecutive Top Ten hits from their self-titled debut, which was issued in early 2000 on Lyric Street. Following "Prayin' for Daylight" were "This Everyday Love," "While You Loved Me," and "I'm Movin' On," which peaked at #9, #7, and #4 on the country charts, respectively. "I'm Movin' On" was awarded Song of the Year by the Academy of Country Music in 2002.
Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts performed together at the 2007 Grammy Awards ceremony. Later the same year, the group released the single "Take Me There," a song Kenny Chesney co-wrote and had initially planned to record himself. A Number One hit by September of that year, this was the first single from their album Still Feels Good.
Rascal Flatts has enjoyed financial success as touring artists. Nielsen reported that the band were the top selling artist in 2006: "Rascal Flatts was the biggest selling artist, with nearly 5 million physical album sales and nearly 4 million digital track sales. " They had their first headlining tour beginning in Fall 2002, and by 2005 they were among the top 25 tours of the year, grossing $26.3 million in 777,384 tickets sold, according to Billboard Boxscore. Their follow-up tour in 2006 grossed $46.2 million, drawing more than a million people to 79 shows. Rascal Flatts has the third-highest US country tour in 2007, grossing $34 million from 588,009 tickets sold. The group grossed $16.8 million dollars from their summer tour alone.
Rascal Flatts' homemade chicken noodle soup, included in the 2004 celebrity compilation cookbook Star Palate: Celebrity Cookbook for a Cure, by Tami Agassi and Kathy Casey, is thrifty, easy to make, and best of all, comforting. I especially like the mention of uncommon pastas to be used (not many celebrity soup recipes suggest including acini di pepe, which is a tiny bead-like pasta; the name translates in Italian to "peppercorns," because they're small like peppercorns).
Kids will gobble up this hearty chicken soup, no matter what type of pasta you choose to use, especially on drizzly, cold nights.
NOTE: You can save money and substitute your own homemade chicken or vegetable stock to replace the canned stuff listed in the recipe: The A-Z of Making Vegetable Stock from Scratch and Save Those Bones! Meat Stock to the Rescue
Rascal Flatts' Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 sm. onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, sliced (about 1 cup)
- 2 carrots, sliced (about 1 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
- 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes in juice
- 4 (14-oz.) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 c. of your favorite dry soup noodle, such as orzo, stelle, acini di pepe, alphabets, etc.
- 3/4 lb. cooked chicken, diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 c. frozen peas
- Salt and black pepper
Spray a heavy soup pot with nonstick vegetable spray. Heat pot over medium heat and sauté the onion, celery, and carrots until fragrant and starting to brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic, parsley, and thyme, and sauté 30 seconds more. Do not brown garlic.
Add the tomatoes and stir well, dissolving any browned bits on bottom of pot. Add the broth and bay leaf, and bring to a boil.
Stir in the pasta, and continue to stir until soup returns to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 6 to 10 minutes, or according to package directions.
Stir in the chicken and peas, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Return soup to a simmer and cook until chicken is just heated through.
Makes 4 to 6 main servings, 8 to 12 side servings.
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Agassi, Tami, and Casey, Kathy, Star Palate: Celebrity Cookbook for a Cure, Documentary Media, Seattle, WA, 2004.
Answers.com, Rascal Flatts biography, (http://www.answers.com/topic/rascal-flatts-1).
CMT News, "20 Questions With Rascal Flatts," (http://www.cmt.com/news/20-questions/1474595/20-questions-with-rascal-flatts.jhtml).
Wikipedia.org, "Rascal Flatts," (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rascal_Flatts).