Not long ago I offered to make some chicken soup for friends in need of a meal, claiming, “I make a great chicken soup.” And I have no idea why I made that statement, since there is nothing remarkable about the soup at all. It’s not as though I have gone all Thomas Keller over here, perfecting the recipe by using fourteen pans and pate a choux. No, it’s just a plain chicken soup with a few tricks.
First I nabbed some bone-in chicken breasts from Whole Foods, much more than I needed. There are two great things about bone-in breasts: 1) they are cheaper and 2) they taste better than the boneless variety. I recommend getting about 8. I threw them, along with a cup of water and a decent sprinkling of salt and pepper into the crock pot and cooked on low for 8 hours. When they were done in there, I cooled them a bit and then shredded the meat. And I froze most of it for future use. Of course you can have as much chicken as you want in your soup, but for my purposes, one shredded breast will do.
By the way, I LOVE this trick. Once you have all your chicken ready to go and frozen, it’s unbelievably simple to pull a quick dinner together.
I didn’t have time/energy to take photos when I made my first batch of soup because in addition to being naturally bad at taking photos, I almost invariably have to take them while one kid is stuffing peas up his nose and the other has placed her milk so close to the edge of the table that she will absolutely spill it if I don’t say something immediately. In other words, I am distracted. But! I got a cold, and decided to make a second batch. Somehow this meal is even better when you are slightly under the weather.
- 1 C diced onion
- 1 C diced carrot
- 1 C diced celery
- 6 oz pasta (small shapes)
- chicken from one large breast
In a soup pot saute the onion in a bit of butter or EVOO, 3 – 4 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook until soft about 10 minutes more. Add chicken and stock enough to cover and then some, and bring to a boil.
I prefer to cook my pasta separately and then add it to the soup. But it’s totally copasetic to just throw it in the soup pot, watch as it sucks up a bunch of the stock, add more stock and repeat until it’s all nice and soft and ready to go. Anyway, boil for 10 minutes then serve.