The Best Chicken Soup

Over the summer, the Captain surprised me with Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, It’s All Good.  It’s a gorgeous book with simple, healthy recipes and loads of new ideas.  I made a notation in my meal planning journal that the very second the weather turned cool, I’d make her chicken soup.  She likens it to “Jewish penicillin” and after making it myself, I must agree.  It’s light, yet filling and it’s so flavorful.  The ingredients are easily interchangeable and I feel it would freeze beautifully.  I changed a few things to reflect what is available in our tiny rural town {finding a leek in Franklin Springs would be akin to finding buried treasure}.

You’ll need:

For the broth:

  • One whole organic chicken
  • 1 rib of celery, quartered
  • 1 carrot, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 bunches fresh Thyme
  • 10-12 cups cold water

For the soup:

  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 1 bunch Kale, removed from stems
  • Chicken broth {see above}
  • Shredded chicken, white meat only

Rinse the chicken well and remove innards {keep the neck}.  In your largest stock pot, add in all the vegetables and turn the setting to high.  While the vegetables sizzle, add the salt, peppercorns, and thyme.  Then, deglaze the stockpot with the wine.  After that, settle the chicken onto the vegetables and then cover completely with water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for two hours.

Strain and remove the chicken and discard the cooked vegetables.  Pour the broth into a new stockpot and add in the carrots and kale.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for twenty minutes.  In the meantime, pick the meat off the chicken and add into the stockpot.  Once the carrots are soft, serve the soup with crusty French bread.

Do you have a favorite cold-weather recipe?  I think this is our new favorite!




3 thoughts on “The Best Chicken Soup

  1. Andrew and I like to add a turkey neck to our chicken soup. Somehow it adds a whole new layer of richness, beyond even what the chicken bones add. It’s so good I don’t usually feel like I need to add any salt.

    What’s becoming one of my favorite “soup” recipes is a basic Chicken Cacciatore. I started with a recipe from an America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, but I’ve found that it’s very forgiving and doing things a little bit different each time keeps it fresh. I always use chicken broth, onions, garlic, Italian spices, and red pepper flakes to taste, ~2 tbsp olive oil, and a large can of tomatoes (or if I’m not in a rush to get it started I use fresh cherry tomatoes sliced–they retain their shape better and I think they’re more fun to eat and look better when served). When I can find it, I also add a can of this, mostly to give a little more volume and depth of flavor: The chicken pieces mostly depend on what’s in the freezer (thighs are traditional but I’m a fan of white meat and not having to deal with bones). If I happen to have any wine, mushrooms, or shallots, they go in, too.

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