How do I make chicken soup
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I like chicken soup with a bit of gusto. So I put a whole chicken, cut-up in a pot, and add water to cover. Add 2 whole garlic cloves, a bay leaf, 4-5 peppercorns, a few star anise, a piece of ginger, a carrot, an onion, and a piece of celery. Bring to a boil, then barely simmer for 2 hours. Remove chicken, and shred meat from chicken and set aside. If time, throw bones back into pot and simmer another hour. Strain broth. Now add a few handfuls of chopped veggies...parsnips, carrots, celery, and cook until crisp tender. Add cooked noodles or rice. Acc chicken. Parsley or cilantro. Salt to taste. Sriracha is nice dappled on top.
I really like Ina's. It's very close to the one my grandmother made.
We do a basic one at my house. Start diced onions, celery and carrot with a few bay leaves in olive oil over med-high in a large pot. (If you are using raw chicken, we sometimes use 2 breasts, start poaching them in water at this time with a quartered small onion and a couple of bay leaves.)
When onions are almost translucent toss in a couple of cloves minced garlic, some herbs (thyme and rosemary for us) and cook for a few minutes more. Hit it with some salt and pepper. Add water or stock, start with 8 cups total (I usually do half and half). Your poached chicken's probably getting done by now, when it's ready cool a bit and then shred, or shred about a quarter of a rotisserie chicken and toss it into the pot. You can strain the poaching liquid and use it in the soup.
We like to add wild rice or sometimes noodles to this, put those (uncooked) in the pot now. Keep an eye on this, noodles and rice will absorb the liquid, I usually add another 2-4 cups water at this point. When you hit boil, drop the heat to medium.
Simmer over medium-ish heat until the noodles or rice are cooked through.
Eat bowl after bowl until you are left moaning on the couch. :)
BTW, customize that sucker to your liking! Like peas? Add them. Does the soup look like it needs more broth/water? Add it. It's just a basic method. I like the sounds of Jacksonholefoodie's soup.
Here's my recipe from my blog for a traditional chicken soup. This recipe makes a lot so you can freeze some for future uses, or you can cut it in half.
All the above approaches are great, and mine is very similar -- the biggest difference is that I save (my husband says "hoard") chicken pieces in the freezer until the chicken soup mood hits. We have a roasted chicken probably every week or two -- the carcass goes in the freezer. I rarely buy chicken cut up, but cut up my own. The neck and backs go in the freezer. You get the idea. Then the day for chicken soup comes, I slice up onions, carrots and celery, saute until translucent, add all those frozen chicken pieces (still frozen), cover with cold water, bring to a boil (maybe with a bunch of herbs and spices -- maybe not. Just depends on the mood and what is available), reduce and simmer on low for a couple of hours. Strain. You now have THE BEST STOCK EVER! Now add a couple of cubed chicken breasts (they cook so fast) and whatever veggies you want (cubes of butternut squash, some sweet potatoes -- as well as the more traditional -- are all favorites).
Since you may not have made chicken soup before, here's another thing to know -- homemade chicken soup is zillions of times more flavorful (and good for you) than the stuff from a can. They inhabit two different universes. One of the places this is obvious is what happens after you put it in the fridge (assuming leftovers). Fully cooled homemade chicken soup will have a VERY gelatinous consistency. Don't worry -- not only is this normal, this indicates you've got the real deal. Simply warm gently the next day and all the jelly qualities will melt and you'll have wonderful, wonderful, soup once again.
We "hoard" chicken parts in the freezer too. I almost always buy our chickens whole from a local farm, my husband cuts them up. Any non-eating bits go into the freezer and when we have enough we make a HUGE pot of stock (I like Alton Brown's method). The last time we did this I had over 30 cups of finished stock, we froze that in 1 and 1/2 cup portions. Since the chicken parts are on hand, we usually spend about $7 on veggies for the stock. So much cheaper than buying the pre-made stuff and you're right, it makes a huge difference in flavor.
Within this link, which appears to include any recipe with chicken broth or stock, you will find a number of nice chicken soups: http://www.food52.com/recipe...
And you may want to start with this link to get ideas for a great broth to use as a base: http://www.food52.com/contests...