Sunday, March 28, 2010

Homemade Chicken Soup...the recycled version

During these fiscally challenging times it's a bonus to get two meals out of one. Occasionally I purchase the roasted chicken at my local grocer and it makes for an easy meal when served with a baked sweet potato and a green vegetable. Roche Brothers cooks up Bell & Evans free range chickens, which I prefer. We typically eat the chicken for one meal and that leaves enough meat on the carcass for soup. Here's an easy recipe that makes a delicious soup:

Homemade Chicken Soup:
Carcass of one roasted chicken (with some meat left on it)
3 carrots, peeled and ends trimmed
3 stalks of celery, peeled to remove the strings off the back and ends trimmed
1/2 bunch of fresh parsley
1/2 small white onion
1 carton organic low sodium chick broth
Pasta (small shape or the homemade pieces you may have in your freezer if you made ravioli with me back at Christmas time)
Grated cheese (and you probably all know by now that I like Pecorino Romano)
Salt and pepper
Place chicken carcass, broth, carrots, celery, onion, and parsley into a stockpot.  Add water to cover the chicken by about 2 inches:

Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 1.5 hours.

Remove parsley, celery, and carrots from the pot and allow to cool:

Cut the carrots and celery to about 1/4 thick, and roughly chop the parsley (set aside):

Allow the soup (minus the vegetables) to continue simmering on the stove for another hour. Adding salt and pepper to taste. Strain the soup into another pot and then place the chicken and bones into a bowl. Allow to cool, then pick through adding all the good pieces of chicken back into the strained broth. Add the chopped vegetables and salt and pepper to taste. Cook your pasta, al dente, and toss with little bit of olive oil so it doesn't stick together. Add a serving of pasta to each bowl, and then add the soup. Always keep the pasta separate from the soup. Adding it to the soup pot will just overcook it. The soup tastes so much better when the pasta is added just before serving, and if you have some homemade pasta on hand you'll be in for a real treat.

Sprinkle with a little cheese and enjoy! Variation: you can add a few handfuls of baby spinach, or any other greens that you like, to the soup pot before serving. Just let it simmer for a few minutes to cook the greens.

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