Sunday, January 24, 2010

Awesome Chicken Soup

The key to any soup is not necessarily the ingredients but how they are combined and when. If you take all the ingredients in this soup and throw them into a pan and boil it you will find that it taste very bland. So keep in mind that ingredients that don't need much time to cook, or are included for a flavor, need to go in last. I make my chicken soup most of the time as follows.


2-3lbs Chicken (I use skinned boneless breast) more money but less work
1 Bunch of fresh spinach
1 Bunch of carrots
1 Bunch of celery
1 Bunch of Scallions
1 Large onion
1/4 Bunch of fresh parsley
Fresh or dried Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme
14 oz low sodium chicken broth (I use "Better than Broth" and mix it myself)
1/2 - 3/4 lb soup pasta or egg noodles.

In a large pot fill to just half way with water and chicken broth. Clean and cut chicken into bite sized pieces and add to the pot. Turn the stove on to bring the water to boil. Peel and cut the carrots, and onions. Chop up the celery.

Do not throw anything away. In a smaller pot fill halfway with water and place all your peelings, trimmings, skins and bones if you used bone in chicken parts. Discard the skin if had skinned chicken. Bring that "stock pot" to a boil then lower heat to just keep it simmering

You should now have chicken, carrots, celery and onions in your soup. Bring this to a boil. Once at boil add your pasta.
Trim and cut up the scallions, remember to place trimmings in the stock pot, and finely chop the parsley

These items are flavor enhancers and don't need to go in just yet.
Spinach cooks very quickly so this is the last ingredient.

Once your soup is boiling and the carrots are just about done but not soft, lower your heat to keep the soup at a low simmer.

Add your scallions and parsley, stir this in well. Add your seasonings and stir again. I coat the top of the soup with a good coat of Oregano, a very light coat of Thyme and Rosemary. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Try using flavored salts if you are going to add salt. Like Garlic salt. Fresh ground pepper is in all my recipes.

Wash your spinach and cut across the leaves into about quarter sized
Get a colander and drain just the liquid from your stock pot into the soup mix. Discard the trimmings.

Test taste the broth and add any seasoning you might think it needs. Stir in the Spinach. Now your soup is ready. The spinach cooks in a few seconds. So you should have a soup that has a great taste and vegetables that are not too soft. This should take from start to finish about 30 mins. The pasta will absorb some of the water overnight but it definitely taste good the next day.
Feel free to add or change ingredients just keeping in mind when making soup that some items don't need a long cook time and your soup will always taste great if the ingredients are cooked properly.

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