About this recipe
There is nothing better than homemade chicken soup. Buy yourself a boiling chicken if you can. Leave the skin on but remove all excess fat (e.g., around the little fella’s bum), and wash it well.
Place a large soup pot on the stove; turn burner to high and add:
- your nice 4-5 lb. chicken (or two little chickens),
- 1-2 beef bones (no marrow) or a piece of stewing beef,
- maybe some turkey (e.g., wings),
- enough water to cover by 3-4 inches.
As the water heats up, froth will form on top. Skim it off before the water boils.
When the water boils, add:
- 3-4 stalks celery,
- 2-3 large carrots (peeled),
- 1 medium cooking onion (also peeled),
- 3-4 canned plum tomatoes (and a little juice),
- 1 beef cube (if you didn’t add bones),
- maybe some parsley if you have it,
- 1-1½ tbsp. salt and 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper.
Cover and simmer for approx. 2 hours. When the meat comes easily away from the bone, it’s done.
Remove chicken from pot and put onto a platter. Strain broth into large bowl and throw out vegetables (maybe save the carrot). Strain the broth again through cheesecloth to remove most of the fat, or refrigerate overnight and skim off the hardened fat in the morning. Cut up the white meat and add back to the broth. Eat the dark meat with a little salt and fresh bread (you can also eat the carrot).
Cook tiny noodles (e.g., acini di pepe) in salted water. Before noodles are fully cooked, drain and add to boiling broth, and then cook together until ready. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
- Taste for salt after 1 hour.
- The beef is added for contrast.
- You could add leeks with your vegetables.
- The carrot should still be whole when done. If it’s all smushed up, you boiled too fast.
- Don’t make this with just dark meat (but you can make a small pot using only breasts).
- For Italian wedding soup, make little meatballs using white meat, Parmesan cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, and parsley. Add to broth along with noodles and also add either Swiss chard or spinach (boiled, squeezed dry, and finely chopped).
For stracciatella, whisk together 1 egg, 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, and 1 tbsp. bread crumbs for every two people being served (or use 1 egg, 2 tbsp. Parmesan, and no bread crumbs). Add this mixture along with a piece of lemon rind to the boiling broth instead of noodles and whisk again. Cook until egg is coddled (2-3 minutes).