It’s officially the shortest day of the year- each day from here on out will have more sunlight! Thank goodness for that, it’s been getting very dark. When the days are short and cold, my mind immediately turns to a warm and filling soup. Soup is both comforting and nourishing- and can be easily prepared on a budget. For most soups, I use chicken stock as a base. I like to make chicken stock from scratch by poaching a chicken in a few quarts of water and adding carrots, celery and onion. It’s a great way to use all of the chicken. You can then use the chicken stock for soup and eat the chicken in a variety of ways- in enchiladas, chicken salad or even in the soup! To make a complete meal, fill the pot with veggies, whole grains and any protein. Martha Shulman has a series on filling vegetable soups that are perfect for the cold months.
You can find them here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/12/health/nutrition/vegetable-soups-smooth-and-hearty-recipes-for-health.html?ref=nutrition
Below, you will find Cooking Matter’s recipe for Chicken Soup. Enjoy and stay warm!
Chef Alicia McCabe- Boston, MA
Serves 8, 1.5 cups per serving
1 medium onion
1 (4-5 lbs) whole chicken
14 cups water
1 celery stalk
2 cups leafy greens, such as kale, spinach or chard
2 medium carrots
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 cup whole wheat pasta
1. Peel and rinse onion. Cut into quarters.
2. In a large pot, cover onion and chicken with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
3. Lift chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Strain broth using a colander and refrigerate until ready to make soup. Discard onions, as they will be too overcooked to eat.
4. When chicken is cool, pull meat from the bones and shred or chop it, discarding any skin or bone and refrigerate until ready to add to soup.
5. Rinse celery and leafy greens. Remove any tough stems and tear leafy greens into bite-sized pieces
6. Peel and rinse carrots. Dice carrots and celery and add to a large soup pot, along with strained broth, leafy greens and salt and pepper.
7. Bring vegetables and broth to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
8. Add the pasta and continue to simmer until the pasta is tender.
9. Add cooked chicken and continue simmering for 5-10 minutes.
- Try substituting the same amount of any precooked whole grains, such as barley or quinoa for the pasta. Skip step 8 and add with chicken in step 9.
- Rinse and thinly slice root vegetables such as turnips and parsnips and add to the broth along with carrots, celery and leafy greens.
- Spinach is a fast cooking leafy green, so instead of adding it during step 6, wait and add during the last 5 minutes of soup cooking time with the cooked chicken.