In my post-camera-catastrophe fog I completely forgot to write about what I did with those heavenly, bite-size cipollini onions! (Pardon the oversight.) Here’s a hint: two words, the first word starts with a “c” and sounds like “hicken.” The second word.. ah jeez, it’s in the title.
On the way home from the Open Market my mind was racing with my favorite onion-y dishes, and I fell upon a classic: chicken soup. I have never made it before (*gasp*), it’s fall-perfect, and it would nicely feature the cipollinis. Don’t they look like little marshmallows when they’re naked?
Another reason that I wanted to make a soup is because The Man and I have been exploring recipes that can be made in bulk. We need more meals that will last for a few days, to make sure we’re: a.) eating, and b.) eating well, when we get busy with work and school. Anything we can cook in our giant 3-gallon pot is best, and chicken soup just made sense. We made our soup even bulkier by adding (literally) bowl-fulls of veggies.
I really enjoyed making this soup because it was a test of my cooking skill – one that I’ll have you know I failed, initially. All legit cooks know how to make a good broth. Prior to this soup I had no clue, and I’m honestly not convinced that I have a clue even after. Our chicken soup came out a little watery, despite hours of cooking, and cheating with a little store-bought broth (just a little). In the end, we decided to strain out the veggies and chicken, and continue to boil the broth on it’s own until it became thicker and more flavorful –> jackpot. The soup turned out delicious.
This soup is best served with a healthy grating of parmesan reggiano. It’s an intense cheese that adds serious depth in flavor. It takes a while to cook, but homemade chicken soup is worth the wait. As you can see, we started cooking in the afternoon, and finally sat down to eat in the dark. Regardless, it was chow-worthy.
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cups cipollini onions
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 whole chicken (2-3 lbs)
- 6 whole carrots
- 3 cups chopped kale (raw)
- 1 bag of celery stalks
- 2 tbs oregano
- Pasta (any kind)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Grated parmesan reggiano for garnish
Prep veggies: mince garlic, chop onion, peel cipollinis (keep these whole), chop celery & carrots.
Sautee garlic and large yellow onion in pan on medium heat, until see-through. Add half of the non-green vegetables (cipollinis, carrots & celery) to the pot, and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat until about half-cooked. These vegetables will melt down to add flavor to the soup. Save the other half and the kale to add later.
Once the vegetables are about half-way cooked, take the giblets out of your chicken & discard (ew). We did keep the neck and added it to the soup, at The Man’s insistence. I could handle that much. Put the chicken in the pot with the vegetables, and then fill the pot with enough water to cover the chicken. (In the future I will use a fowl. These are adult – “worldly” – chickens, which hold up to cooking better than younger chickens). Cook for about hour, keeping the soup at a simmer, and stir periodically. Make sure to check your chicken, using a meat thermometer, to see if it is cooking appropriately. Adjust your temperature as needed.
After about an hour has passed, remove the chicken from the pot. Using a knife & cutting board, remove all meat from the chicken. Cut meat into bite-sized pieces (or larger if you like!) and add back into the pot. Make sure not to put any skin back into the soup, otherwise…it won’t be nice. Finally, add remaining vegetables and kale to the pot, along with your oregano, salt & pepper. Cook until vegetables are cooked through. Serve hot, over pasta (cooked separately) and garnish with parmesan.
If you end up with a watery soup like we did at first, strain out the veg + chicken and cook down the broth like we did. The key to a thick and flavorful broth is really cooking down that first batch of veggies. The longer you cook that part, the better. Of course, this is coming from a chicken soup novice, so please defer to your aunts’, grandmothers’ and mothers’ tips – and then let me know what they are.