Friday, December 16, 2011

Food: Chicken Soup

Every time I get a cold, I crave old-fashioned chicken soup.  Nothing fancy, just plain old chicken soup.  Today after teaching for a full day and straining my vocal cords with elementary-school-aged children, I looked forward to nothing more than a bowl of chicken soup.  So I stopped at the grocery for the ingredients and made it.  This is what I did.

First: chop up 1 heart of celery (leaves included), 2 medium onions, and half a pound(ish) of carrots.  Saute all these in a bit of olive oil in the bottom of your soup pot.  When the onion becomes translucent, add 5 cloves minced garlic.  Yes, 5.  Garlic is good for a cold.  Go ahead and add more if you want, but never less.

When the smell becomes almost too much for you, but before the garlic has browned, add 2 quarts chicken stock.  Since I didn't have my usual handy-dandy chicken stock boxes around, I made my own out of Reduced Sodium chicken flavored Better than Bouillon.  It worked just fine.  Add in: 2 bay leaves, about a tablespoon fresh rosemary (I just snipped off a sprig and threw it in the pot), and about 3 tablespoons of freeze-dried shallots from (you guessed it) Penzey's. 

Next: tear all the meat off a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.  (My reason for not roasting my own chicken?  A whole rotisserie chicken was cheaper than a whole raw chicken by about a dollar.  And it saved me a few hours time.  And I wanted chicken soup TODAY, not tomorrow.  If I had a raw chicken, I would have made roasted chicken for dinner today.  I digress.)  Stir the meat into the soup.  Bring to a simmer.  Oh yeah - don't put the chicken skin in the soup. Ick.  Season with seasoned salt and pepper to taste.

About an hour before serving, add 1 cup uncooked white rice.  Stir occasionally until it is time to serve.

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