I haven’t been cooking a lot lately, because if I’m going to make the effort, baking is the first thing I usually do, and there has been zero need for baking since I’m living a block away from a very yummy bakery. Coffee, chocolate croissants, and ham sandwiches go a long way. Except sometime at school yesterday I seem to have picked up a cold. I thought it was allergies, since it started when the wind was blowing in, and laying outside in the grass didn’t help, but I’ve taken 3 of the Spanish generic Claritin since then, and nothing. It probably has something to do with my week of minimal sleep and lack of veggies. So, here I am, waiting for my soup to be done and listening to Bob Dylan Christmas music. It’s not too early, right?
Chicken Vegetable Apple Soup
- 1 chicken – mine was 1.5 kilo. And at €3.31, a much better deal than the $20 Canadian chickens I’m used to.
- Your veggies. I went with a soup pack that has some questionables in it, but your basic base is carrots, parsnip, leek, and parsley. Maybe some garlic or onion if you have it. I put an apple in for the first time today, to see what would happen.
- Water. Tap water in Mallorca is not safe to drink – supposedly eventually you can get kidney stones, but I figured cooking with it would be okay, especially since it has to come to a boil anyway.
- Your pasta. Pick your favorite shape. Farfalle, aka bowties are my favorite, but I went with little stars, because they’re smaller and will incorporate better into the soup.
- A loaf of nice bread. Any bread will do, but I prefer to treat myself with a nice crusty loaf that’s perfectly soft in the middle when I make soup.
- Get a pot, preferably larger than the one at my disposal, and fill it 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through with water. Keep in mind that when you add the chicken and everything else, the water level will rise, and you don’t want it to overflow.
- Add your stuff. There’s no particular order, other than I like to put parsley in last so that it’s easy to take off first.
- Bring to a low boil, watching it fairly closely.
- As it heats up, you’ll have to skim off the chicken scum. I waited until there was no more scum until I added the parsley, so I didn’t have to work around the parsley to de-scum.
- Reduce to a simmer and let simmer, partially covered, for at least a few hours. This soup is great to make ahead, because it will be better the next day. When you refrigerate it overnight, you have the chance to skim off more fat in the morning when it’s congealed.
- If you’re pressed for time though, or just feel crappy and want soup now, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying it the same day you made it.
- Cook your pasta a few minutes less than al-dente, because it’s going to sit in your soup and keep cooking. And nobody has time for mushy pasta. Drain the pasta promptly, because again, no one wants mushy pasta.
- When the chicken has cooked through and you’re tired of drooling over a steaming soup pot, take out the veggies and set them aside. You can eat them, it’s just easier to get to the soup without navigating vegetables with a ladle. Same goes for the chicken. Put that aside too.
- Assemble: Pasta goes in your bowl first so it doesn’t splash when it goes in. Plus it makes a nice base. Next are the vegetables. Top with ladled broth. I think it’s easier to eat the chicken separately on a plate, but if you wanted it in the soup, you could add it with the vegetables. Enjoy 🙂
Do you have a favorite soup recipe to make when you’re not feeling well, or even just to enjoy sweater weather?