I absolutely love overcast days when we decide to stay home and bake and cook all day and just hang out. You know on days like this, everything goes! That is also a perfect day to make a soup like this, because even though it is a more lengthy process, it's fun to make and there isn't as much work to it as it may seem. Let the heat do the work and you just facilitate (every now and then)!
Our little one, Lyla (who is now 2) loves "helping" out in the kitchen and so she helped with the process of the soup making. I believe that with her contributing in the kitchen (when she wants to) she eats better. She isn't a bad eater to begin with, I think she just enjoys it more. Plus there is a sense of pride that she helped make something, and it actually tastes quite good. A little tip to parents out there that want to start cooking with their kids more. Prep as much as possible and be patient!
For the Stock:
2-3 lbs bone-in, skinless chicken (I used drumsticks)
3 medium carrots, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 lemon sliced (optional)
1-2 tablespoon ginger, chopped (optional)
2 bay leaves
3 quarts water
Chicken (cooked in stock, boned and shredded)
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 onion, minced
1 rib celery
4 gloves of garlic, minced
5 plum tomatoes, chopped (from the can or fresh)
2 bay leaves
Fresh Basil, sliced at last minute
Freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano
A good Olive Oil
For the Stock
1) Heat a large Crock-pot or Dutch-oven on medium-high heat. Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper. Add a good glug of olive oil to the pot and allow to heat for a few minutes, until shimmering. Carefully, place chicken in pot and brown both sides, about 7-8 minutes each side. Once both sides’ of the chicken have been browned add the rest of the ingredients (season with a little salt and pepper), except the water. Give everything a good toss in the pot for a few minutes, just until you can start smelling the ingredients all starting to cook. Add the water (about 3 quarts) until everything is fully submerged. Cover and bring to a slow boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and gently simmer for 20 minutes, covered, and an additional 20 minutes uncovered.
2) Once chicken is cooked through, remove from pot and place in a heat proof bowl. Spoon a few good ladles of the stock over the chicken, and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, continue cooking the stock for an additional 30 minutes, uncovered. Once the stock has completed its time on the stove, remove from the heat and strain out all the cooked ingredients, through a sieve or colander into a heat proof bowl. Be careful as the stock is extremely hot, set aside to cool slightly.
For the Soup:
1) Heat the same Dutch-oven or Crock-pot on medium-high heat, with a little olive oil. Add the diced onion, celery and carrots. Season with a little salt, and allow to sweat for approximately 5 minutes, until onions become translucent. Add tomatoes, and allow to cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until some of the juices from the tomatoes have started evaporating. Add Garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until you can start to smell it. Add all of the stock (which you made earlier) and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, uncovered.
2) Meanwhile remove the chicken from the bones and roughly chop into bite size pieces. Add the chicken (and the stock the chicken was sitting in) back into the pot and allow to continue simmering for an additional 15 minutes or so. Give a taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
|the basil adds a nice touch of freshness|
I like to serve this with pasta or rice that was cooked separately (Some other good alternatives would be Couscous or Quinoa). This way you can add as much starch as you want and it won't get mushy and over cooked, if you were to add it all to the soup.
Spoon the soup over your pasta/rice and then garnish with freshly grated Parmigiana and sliced fresh basil and a drizzle of good olive oil.
|homemade soup with rice and parmigiana-reggiano|
P.S This soup tastes amazing the next day when all of the flavors have really gotten to know each other a little more! To Die For!
I hope you enjoy this!