Saturday, May 05, 2012

Big Feed Chicken Soup

This is another one of those thrown together feasts in a vat. To be eaten by many, many people. Especially picky ones who hardly eat a square meal ever, love sweets more than real food, and have three sugars in their cuppa.  Because all the veggies are pureed into the soup and cannot be seen by the ever-watchful eye of the fussy eater. 
Start off with chicken on the bone.  It can either be a whole chicken, or a few chicken breasts and thighs or legs.  
Put the chicken in the largest stock pot you have and cover with cold water.  Boil until the meat is falling off the bones.  Strain the chicken out of the broth.  When cool, pick the meat from the bones.  Discard all the skin and bones and pop the meat in the fridge while you work on the broth. 
Add to the pot (free from bits of bone and whatever else - strain it if it looks messy!) these:

6 large carrots, topped and tailed, unpeeled, washed well and chopped 
5 medium potatoes, scrubbed well but unpeeled, chopped
6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled but whole
3 onions, chopped
3 sticks celery, chopped

You can add extras to this vegetably list.  I do sometimes.  But if you do, I warn you, the vegetable flavour will begin to escape and warn off the picky eaters.

Boil, boil, boil the veggies in the pot of chicken broth.  Throw in a 3-4 inch long stem of rosemary, straight from the great outdoors, if you have it.  If not, add a few teaspoons of dried rosemary.  Add dried thyme, and black pepper, and 4 vegetable stock cubes.  

When the whole lot begins to soften, remove the rosemary stem (if it's in there), and blend the soup with a hand blender.  It should be a lovely soft orange colour.  The consistency should be like semi-skimmed milk, not thick; if necessary add boiling water to thin it out a bit.

Add the chicken, chopped into Lipton-like perfect chunks, and a few bay leaves. Simmer the soup for a good 10-15 minutes or so before serving.  You could add some noodles for chicken noodle soup.  I have never done this, but you could.  It's very Lipton-y!

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