Sunday, March 22, 2009

Chicken Soup -- You'll Never Eat Canned Soup Again

Chicken soup with carrots, celery, red bell pepper & whole wheat ziti served in a covered dish made by Taylor Smith Taylor, one of many twentieth-century Ohio dinnerware makers.

One of the natural by-products of roast chicken is chicken soup. Another roast chicken, another batch of chicken soup. I tend to make a relatively small batch of soup. One of the reasons making soup gets a bad name is because we tend to make a bucket of soup and then get tired of it.

This is an easy recipe but not a quick recipe -- although most of the time you are ignoring it.


The broth:
  • The remains of a roast chicken. Ours usually has the wings and a leg or two left on it. The more meat left on it, the more meat your soup will have.
  • 1 large carrot cut in 2 inch pieces, wider parts split in two
  • 1 or two stalks of celery cut in 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 a medium onion cut in quarters
  • a handful of fresh parsley
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves broken into pieces. If your bay leaves have been sitting around for awhile, use more of them.
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Water to cover.
The soup:
  • 2-3 cups chopped vegetables of your choice, e.g. carrots, celery, mushrooms, bell peppers, etc.
  • 2 servings of a starch, e.g. noodles, potatoes, rice, dumplings, gnocci.
  • More salt and pepper if needed.
  1. Break the chicken carcass into pieces, breaking a few bones in the process.
  2. Place the broth ingredients in a large saucepan or stock pot and cover with water.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours.
  4. Let cool until safe to refrigerate.
  5. Refrigerate until cold -- I usually do this overnight.
  6. Scoop the fat off the cold broth and discard.
  7. Remove the large pieces from the broth and put aside.
  8. Strain the broth through a mesh strainer to remove the rest of the solids.
  9. Rescue the meat from the solid pieces and return it to the broth.
  10. Discard the rest of the solid pieces, they have given their all to the broth.
  11. Bring the broth and meat back to a boil and add the chopped vegetables and starch. Note: you may want to stagger adding these ingredients depending on how long they need to cook. I like to put the starch in raw so it soaks up some of the broth and thickens the soup.
  12. Simmer until everything is done to your liking.
  13. Adjust the seasoning. You may need to add more salt at this point.
Can one vary this? Certainly. Add garlic. Use an herb other than parsley. Do this with a turkey carcass. Add peanut butter and you have ground nut stew, a West African dish. Add a Granny Smith apple and curry powder and you have Mulligatawny. Add a little extra water at the beginning and you can save some of the broth for other uses. Just don't use too much water or the broth will be weak.

You may be starting to note a lack of tomatoes in this blog. Yes, you could add a can of tomatoes to this soup and in previous years I may well have. But I am now allergic to tomatoes and use them very sparingly. I'm also allergic to onions but there are some things I am unwilling to give up!

Chicken Noodle Soup on Foodista

No comments:

Post a Comment

Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.