Chicken soup is deeply ingrained in my food memory. Every holiday or special dinner was introduced by a steaming bowl of chicken soup. Of course chicken soup always magically appeared whenever I was sick. There is no doubt that it warms my heart to walk into my home and be greeted by the perfume of a pot of chicken soup cooking on the stove.
Quick was not a term I would ever apply to my mom’s chicken soup. When she (and probably all generations before her) cooked chicken soup she would start with a yearling (old hen also called fowl in the supermarket) and boil it for 2 to 3 hours or more until the chicken was finally tender. The secret to this great tasting quick chicken soup (less than 1 hour) is that I start with cooked chicken and I cut up the vegetables and herbs (mom always put them in the pot whole) to decrease the cooking time and increase the vegetable-y flavor.
Noodle Soup? Yeah, I love noodles in my soup. Gluten-free noodles (made with potato and tapioca – that makes them paleo) are generally available at Passover in the Kosher section of stores.
Leftovers Chicken Soup
This is not what to do with leftover chicken soup, it’s a soup made from leftover chicken. Freeze any chicken leftovers until you have enough for soup. If you don’t have leftovers, bake or microwave the chicken before adding to the pot. If the chicken you are using was once made with barbecue sauce (or anything else highly seasoned), you can expect the soup to reflect that flavor and you may want to remove the skin and rinse off the seasoning before using the chicken in the soup to reduce the BBQ-y flavor.
6 cups water
1 1/2 pounds cooked chicken (backs or carcass or any bony parts or any leftover parts)
1 medium onion, peeled (left whole only the ends removed), or 1 cup (dark
green part) leek cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup celery chunks (1-inch pieces)
1 cup carrot chunks (1-inch pieces)
1/3 cup sliced or diced parsnip or turnip or kohlrabi
1/2 ripe plum tomato, cut into chunks
1/4 cup celery leaves
2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 cup snipped dill (including stems)
1/3 cup chopped parsley leaves and stems
1 cup cooked gluten-free noodles or rice, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a 4-quart pot, place the chicken, water, onion, celery, carrots, parsnip, tomato, celery leaves, and garlic.
bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes.
2. Add the chopped dill and parsley; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes longer
3. Strain the soup, removing chicken and vegetables ( you can eat them or use some of them in the soup, if you like).
Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in noodles. Reheat before serving, if necessary.
Makes: 1 quart Serves: 4
Tip: For a “lighter” version: Strain the broth into a large bowl and chill until fat hardens Lift off the fat and discard.