It doesn’t take a cold front to give me an “envie” for homemade chicken soup…it just happens – all of a sudden that is what I want! But, when it is cool or someone is feeling sick, then there it is…a reason to run to the store or farmer’s market for fresh ingredients and “pull out the big pot”! Or – you can simply clean out your fridge and use all of those leftover veggies that need to be used! There are so many different ways to make a chicken soup, but the basics are always the same: a good chicken (whole or pieces), chicken stock (homemade or store-bought) onions, carrots, celery, and your favorite pasta.
Now, I sort of obsess over keeping homemade stock in my freezer…every kind of stock! If I peel shrimp or crabs…I start a stock with the shells; If I roast a chicken, I make a stock with all of the bones and skin; If my son or husband catch and clean fish, I ask for the heads and back bones for – stock! No plans on a rainy Saturday – sounds like a beef stock kind of day to me; Steamed lobster – guess what I do with the shells? Sounds crazy? It’s really not…almost everything that you cook is sooo much better if you add stock – trust me!
I love the way that Thomas Keller makes stock in his book, ad hoc at home
John Besh’s stocks in
My New Orleans
I use a combination of the two! Oh my gosh..stocks – each type deserves its own post, another day – soon!
This is what my freezer looks like right now:
This makes me happy…imagine!
Getting back to Chicken Soup, this is the version that I came up with last week…
1 whole chicken, cut up and seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup rough chopped celery
3 medium onions, chopped
3 carrots, cut into thin rounds
1 cup green cabbage, finely chopped
2 bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 ears of corn – cut off of cob and scrape juice with edge of knife
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
4 cups fresh or store-bought chicken broth
1 cup fresh or canned tomato sauce
Chop all of your vegetables and put in a large bowl. (Don’t try to “chop as you go”!)
Chop your herbs and have in a separate small bowl.
Brown chicken in olive oil on medium/high heat for about 15 minutes. Turn chicken while it’s cooking. When all sides are brown, remove and put chicken pieces on platter or tray.
Add celery, onions, carrots, cabbage, bell pepper, corn, and garlic to stock pot and cook on medium heat, until veggies are soft, but not browned. Stir almost constantly, so that they won’t burn or stick to pot.
Add tomato sauce, chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Return browned chicken back into pot, adding parsley, thyme, and enough water to cover by 2 inches.
Bring back to a boil, then lower heat so that the soup is just barely bubbling.
Cook until chicken is tender, approximately 1 hour. Add water as liquid cooks off…make sure that the soup does not get too thick!
Quick tip…clean the kitchen while the soup is cooking! I always clean as I cook, but if you don’t…do it now – really!
Take all chicken pieces out of pot and place in clean platter or tray
When cool… de-bone chicken and put pieces back into soup.
Add dry pasta and cook until “al dente”
Season, to taste, with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
I’m getting hungry for this all over again!!!
Serve with fresh warm bread and “real” butter…I promise that you will make someone feel better or at least, feel special! Works wonders….Yes, good ole chicken soup!