Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Chicken soup to heal
We have been feeling poorly in this house this week.
I am glad I had the foresight to make a quick trip to the shops on Monday to buy the ingredients for this soup. Before, I got sick too.
Call it Jewish penicillin or a simple healing broth, this chicken soup is indeed restorative. I feel like a good mother when I make it for my sick children and I am truly grateful to receive a steaming bowl of it myself when I am ill.
Next year I will make a pot of this early in the season to freeze. For my family of four this quantity could be frozen in two separate containers. This way, it is on hand when the flu hits, a particularly good idea if it is the mummy who is sick. Any husband can defrost and reheat.
If you can, start making this the day before, as it easier to skim off all of the fat. If not, just let if sit for as long as time permits so the fat can rise to the surface to be skimmed.
• 1 whole chicken (washed and trimmed of fat)
• 1 onion (quartered)
• 1 leek (roughly chopped)
• 1 large tomato (halved)
• 2 carrots (roughly chopped)
• 2 celery stalks with leaves (roughly chopped)
• 2 stalks parsley stalks
• salt and pepper
• 2.5 litres water
• 3/4 cup orzo (risoni) or broken vermicelli
• finely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves (optional)
• grated parmesan (optional)
Place the chicken, onion, leek, tomato, carrots, celery, parsley stalks, salt, pepper and water into a large stock pot, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside to cool. Strain the broth and return to a clean stock pot. Cool the broth and refrigerate overnight. Once the chicken is cool enough, remove the meat from the bones. Shred 2 cups of chicken meat for the soup and refrigerate. The remaining chicken can be used for another dish.
The next day, remove the chicken broth from the refrigerator and skim off the fat. Place the stock pot on the stove top and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes. Add the pasta and continue to cook for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Stir through the cooked chicken and heat through. Season to taste and serve very hot.