What is better than a homemade chicken broth as a base for any soup?
The possibilities are endless.
Here is one for spring or summer seasons.
You mite like to use fresh peas or green beans, young artichoke hearts or asparagus.
I also many times cook rice instead of pasta.
I always cook pasta or rice separately not to cloud the rich, clear broth.
For the Chicken broth:
• 3-31/2 pounds whole chicken cleaned and washed
• 4 quarts cold water
• 1 large onion peeled and quartered
• 2 carrots peeled and cut in half
• 2 parsley roots peeled and cut in half
• 2 ribs of celery with tops, peeled and cut in ½ -inch chunks
• 6-7 whole allspice
• 10 whole peppercorns
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 5-6 sprigs each parsley, dill and thyme
For the Fresh Lima Bean soup:
• 11/2 pounds fresh Lima beans, shelled
• ½ cup Orzo or any small pasta (or rice).
• 1 medium carrot finely grated
• 1 pound baby spinach or other lettuce shredded
• Freshly chopped herbs of your choice (I like the combination of cilantro and a small amount of mint)
• 2 cups shredded chicken
• Green tops of 3 scallions chopped
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
• Lemon wedges ( for squeezing into the bowls of soup if desired)
1. In a large heavy bottom pot orange chicken and all the other ingredients for the broth, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours.
2. While cooking, skim fat and other particles from the top.
3. Carefully remove the chicken, and strain the broth.
4. Return to the stove, add the lima beans, and cook on a low heat partly covered with a lid for about 45 minutes or until lima beans are tender.
5. In a separate pot cook the pasta al dente without salt, drain.
6. Mix in pasta, shredded chicken and the grated carrot for color; add spinach, the chopped herbs and tops of the scallions.
7. Simmer uncovered for 5 more minutes. If needed add some salt.
Serve in hot soup bowls.
Pass the cheese and lemon wedges at the table.