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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My Chicken Soup Recipe

So, soup's not exactly the rocket science some people think it is. It all comes down to the stock. I do a darker chicken stock, a la Anthony Bourdain*, and I like the richer flavour that comes with. I'm single and live alone, so I make a small batch (for 2-4). You can easily add to it and feed more.

Steff's Spring Chicken Soup

½ medium onion or a little less of a large sweet/Spanish onion (my preference) diced
1 small leek diced
2 baby Yukon gold potatoes (skins on) chopped small
2 tablespoons butter

Saute all above for about 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons flour, stir, and let cook for about one or two minutes.

Add 4 cups good chicken stock and mix well. Allow to simmer. Add:

1 cup chopped leftover roasted chicken**
½ c. 1"-chopped spring (thin) asparagus
1½ c. mixed frozen vegetables
2 bayleafs
1 - 2 tsp dried thyme (fresh if ya got it)
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix well and simmer for 20 minutes. Very chunky soup!

Serve with good bread and be happy.

*The quickie stock method a la Bourdain: I use the carcass roasted bird that I tend to stuff into the freezer until stock-making becomes necessary. Then, it's 50% onions, 25% carrots, 25% celery. These get tossed in olive oil then heavily salted and are roasted in the oven until tender and barely beginning to char. That's where Bourdain stops and I take my cue from the good folks at the stock market: Add a bunch of thyme & parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, et al. Fill huge stock pot with veggies, seasonings, and filtered water. Simmer for what could be three or four hours. Let it cool completely, scrape the fat off, and strain it very well the next day. Then put it away as you see fit. This makes me about 20-25 cups of stock. I freeze it in old bottles 3-6 cups at a time, and thaw what's needed when it's needed.

**I roast a 6lb chicken now and then and live off it for most of a week. When day four rolls around, I start sticking some of what's left in the freezer. There it sits until I decide to use it in soup, salads, sandwiches, whatnot. I just keep it in freezer bags and break off what chunks I need. It's a good life.