Tough to decide what we love most about fall - it really is the best season - but "soup weather" is right up there. A roasted chicken is the basis for hearty, healthy soup.
Italian Style Chicken Soup
For the Stock: Chicken carcass 3 carrots, unpeeled and cut into thirds 3 stalks celery, cut into thirds 1 large onion, skin on and cut into quarters 3 bay leaves Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Directions: This recipe starts with a roasted chicken, a large one (‘roaster’ rather than ‘fryer’). Enjoy the roasted chicken for dinner one night, and then use the leftovers for the soup for another night.
Remove all chicken from the carcass. This is easiest to do immediately after dinner. It’s cool enough to handle, but the meat will slide easily off the carcass. No knife is required and there’s less wasted meat. Refrigerate meat immediately. Make chicken stock with the carcass.
In large stockpot combine ingredients. Add enough water so that the level is at least a couple of inches over the ingredients. Place over high heat until boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for at least 4 hours, preferably longer. Taste the stock. If tastes too watery, it needs to cook longer. Use a large colander to strain the stock into a bowl. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
For the Soup:
1 medium red pepper, julienne and then cut into 1-inch pieces 1 cup sliced baby portobello mushrooms (cremini or baby-bella’s) 1 large clove garlic, minced 4 cups chicken stock, extra in reserve if desired 3 cups chicken meat, cut into large chunks (a combination of white and dark adds a nice flavor the soup) 2 cups cooked mini farfalle pasta 2 tablespoons olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Directions: The secret to this is to not overcook the vegetables; leave them with a little crunch.
In large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and pepper and sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir, heat another 2 minutes. Garlic should be fragrant, but not brown. Add the stock, the chicken and the pasta. Add more stock if desired (this is a personal preference thing). Heat until just hot. Ladle into bowls — a shallow pasta bowl works well — and sprinkle with parmesan. A salad and warm peasant bread complete the meal. Buon Appetito!