Monday, March 25, 2013

Souper Simple Chicken Soup

Hardy, har, har... I know that was a joke my dad might come up with. Given the number of respiratory problems that come as a result of living in a place where the air is almost always polluted, chicken soup is one of those dishes that our family likes to have at regular intervals. It’s one of those classic pick me ups from childhood, and research shows you still get benefits even if it’s from a package! It’s nothing fancy, but I thought I’d share this really simple way to make a classic chicken soup.
Little Girl wanted to make her contribution to the photos.
If you’ve recently had a whole chicken, you can make your own stock by boiling the carcass with onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. Honestly, I don’t even bother to peel the onions or carrots, and just chop them into halves or quarters. Add enough water to cover the bones and your favorite herbs (thyme, sage, etc.). Bring it to a boil, and then simmer the bones over low heat (just a slight bubbling in the middle) for about an hour. Strain, season, and you’ve got stock.

If you’ve not got the time to deal with that, here’s my quick version:

Souper Simple Chicken Soup
1-2 chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, whatever has some meat), chopped finely
6 cups water
3 chicken cubes (love some sodium)
1 carrot, chopped finely
4-5 small ribs celery, chopped finely
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 large garlic clove, chopped finely
2 Tablespoons butter
8 oz. pasta (roughly half a standard package), cooked separately
Pinch of dried herbs (sage, thyme, mixed herbs..whatever you like)

In a soup pot, melt the butter and sweat the veggies with a pinch of salt. You need roughly equal proportions of carrots, celery, and onion. Once the vegetables soften, add the water, chicken cubes, chicken, and pepper according to your taste. If you’re using precooked chicken, your cook time will be significantly less. After the soup comes to a boil, add the cooked pasta and heat until the chicken is fully cooked. Season to taste, and you’re done!

Note: I cook the pasta first so I doesn’t absorb all the soup. You don’t have to do this, but I think it makes the soup have more liquid. 

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