Chicken Soup, by Me.

Although the days are getting longer, it’s still bitterly cold and snowy around here. ¬†Last week I had a craving for some figure-friendly comfort food and decided to make chicken soup. ¬†I’ve made something like this ¬†“recipe” since my early twenties, and over the years I have made some modifications but it’s pretty basic. ¬†Probably, many folks¬†have¬†a meal like this in their repertoire, at least I hope so. ¬†It’s a blessing, and really more of a “method” than an actual recipe since this is the first time I am writing it out. ¬†I don’t really measure. ¬†It’s more about what I feel like when I am preparing it.

Chicken Soup

The broth: ¬†my husband loves this so much he’ll drink it straight. ¬†In a 3.5 quart pot (I like enameled cast iron) assemble

  • 1 leftover (or not) 2-3 lb rotisserie chicken. ¬†You may certainly roast your own. ¬†Reserve most of the breast meat to chop and add into the soup at the end. ¬†If you like thigh and leg meat reserve some of that.
  • 1 onion quartered, or a couple of leeks, trimmed and rinsed well to remove any grit. ¬†I really enjoy¬†leeks.
  • 1 or 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks. ¬†Sometimes I just snap them in half and throw them in.
  • 1 stalk of celery, preferably from the heart of the bunch, with some leaves
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Several sprigs of fresh thyme, or a few pinches of dried thyme
  • A handful of parsley, leaves and stems
  • The juice of 1 lemon (this can be added during the simmer.)
  • Water to just cover all,¬†leaving¬†enough headroom to bring the pot to a boil.

Bring the pot to a gentle boil over medium heat, then back the heat off and simmer the pot for an hour, or more. ¬†When the vegetables are very soft, but not mushy, remove them along with the chicken carcass¬†and discard.¬† I use a slotted spoon at first, and then a skimmer to get the smaller bits so I don’t have to strain the hot liquid into a bowl then return it to the pot. ¬† Salt to taste.

If you haven’t the time to create your own broth, there are some really good ones available at the market. ¬† I recently discovered this one, and it’s a little pricey ¬†at about $7 a quart, but very delicious.

chicken soup|projects&promises

At this point I add noodles.  I just use a handful or two of whatever dried pasta is on hand and cook it according to the package directions right in the broth.  On the day I made the soup in the photo I had dilatini, but you can use whatever appeals to you and your family.  You can use quick cooking rice if you like, too.

Then¬†I add a few frozen vegetables. ¬†You can freestyle it here–if you love them load up on them. ¬† It’s a good opportunity to use any miscellaneous opened bags you might have in the freezer. ¬†My favorite is a mixture of peas, green beans, corn and carrots. ¬†I love the colors. ¬†Simmer for a few minutes until the vegetables are heated through.

Finally, add the meat you have reserved from your chicken. You can chop it into chunks as I did, or shred it. ¬†I do this last since the chicken is already cooked and I don’t want it to get rubbery.

This recipe feeds 4-6, or can be refrigerated for a couple of weekday lunches. ¬† Do you have a “by heart” recipe?

chicken soup|projects&promises
chicken soup|projects&promises