When I’m sick, all I want is to stay in bed, watching television, and sip some chicken soup. Not only is it delicious, but there has been research actually showing it to be beneficial. At the very least, it helps you get your liquids in.
Unfortunately, my vegetarian friends don’t benefit from the desiccation of animal bones, but there is a lot of good and yummy stuff in there.
Making chicken soup from scratch is really easy and a lot more delicious than the stuff you pour out of a can or packet.
Start out by making a basic stock – procure a chicken, we usually use our leftover roast chicken bones (either store bought or home made will do just fine!) Place the bones in a large pot, cover with water and add vegetable (don’t worry about peeling them, you’ll strain the whole thing anyway. I use: 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, a whole onion quartered, 1-3 cloves of garlic and whatever fresh herbs I have on hand.
Allow to come to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least two hours.
Remove from heat, strain and allow to cool completely.
Skim the fat from the top when it is completely cool.
You now have a basic and delicious stock that you can use for any recipe that calls for it. It can be frozen for months (if you like, freeze it in ice cube trays so you can add just a little or a lot). OR you can go ahead and make soup with it right now.
Heat stock to a boil, reduce to simmer.
While the stock is heating, in a separate pan, heat a mirepoix (diced carrots, onions and celery) until soft.
Add mirepoix to the stock, along with leftover chicken meat, shredded.
About 10 minutes before serving, add any small pasta that you like. Use a lot less than you think – I usually only use a cup for a LARGE pot of soup, you can always add more later, but the pasta will use up a lot of liquid. If you don’t plan on eating the whole pot at once, I recommend taking your portion out into a smaller pot and adding the pasta to just that. When you’re ready to eat the rest, add more pasta. I don’t recommend cooking and storing the pasta separately.
When the pasta is cooked to your liking, serve in a big bowl or in a cup with a grilled cheese next to it.
It may not cure you, but a hot bowl of soup will make you feel better for a while!