"Oh, their immune systems need it!"
"They'll rarely get sick after that!!"
I know, but it still sucks.
Kuenie looooves her some chicken soup, especially when she's not feeling well. With a little bit of prep, this soup takes about an hour from start to finish - like to the table. I take some super easy shortcuts that allow you to trim some time out of the cooking and you don't even have to skimp on the flavor. I feel like an infomercial - "it slices, it dices, it juliennes!"
GENIUS Time Saving Notes (no, seriously):
Make sure you start a separate pot of boiling water (or chicken stock if you're using it) to add to the soup so you can cut down on time in bringing everything to a boil before simmering. I have an electric water boiler/warmer so I've always got boiling water on tap, amazing how much it accelerates cooking time. Plus it's so nice to have when you want a quick cup of coffee in the a.m., tea before bed or whatever you'd need scalding hot water for.
De-bone rotisserie chicken when you get home and pour off the gravy that has accumulated into a separate container. You can save some time and have the chicken already prepared and skim the fat off after it solidifies in the fridge.
Thyme: Fresh thyme sprigs can be a real pill to strip so if you're in a hurry, just tie a bundle very tightly with some kitchen twine and throw the whole thing into the soup pot to simmer. Fish the bundle out when you're done simmering. Or just use dried, jeez.
I use my Vitamix on the lowest setting for minced veggies. Best thing I found is that if you mince raw cauliflower, it looks like rice in the soup so I can mentally fake myself out to save on the carbs. Everyone needs a Vitamix. And a Roomba.
Wash and pare your veggies when you get home from the store. Makes cooking fresh so much easier than if you had to start from scratch. I fill up my sink and add about 1 c of white vinegar to wash produce, then rinse w/ cold water.
Soups generally freeze very well so if you haven't found a way to put chicken soup on tap at your home either, just make a huge pot, portion out and stock your freezer. You can even used gallon freezer bags - stack and freeze for quick thawing. Don't forget to write the name and date on the bag BEFORE filling. So you don't pull out what looks like a science experiment 6 mo. later w/ no idea what the contents are of the bag.
Unless you're planning on eating the entire pot in one meal, I don't recommend boiling pasta or rice directly in the soup. After a few days, your soup is going to get gummy and thick..not my fave. Instead, while the soup simmers, in a separate pot you can start rice, egg noodles, any type of short cut pasta, grilled cheese or heat up a baguette to serve alongside. Mmmmmmmmmm.
|Best picture I could get - sorry the cheese looks gross.|
They were pretty curls before melting, trust me.
One Hour Chicken Soup
Makes 4-6 servings, easily scalable
1 yellow onion, diced (baseball size, or 1/2 a large)
2-2 celery stalks
1-2 large carrots
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1 bay leaf
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 rotisserie chicken (store bought)
1 tbsp light cooking oil (I like light olive or canola)
2 c minced kale (I throw my kale in the blender and mince it really fine so it just blends into the soup - no picking around that, ha!)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 - 14 oz. canned tomatoes
1 bell pepper, diced
1 c. cauliflower - minced (blender)
2 cans chicken stock
chicken bouillon cubes
fresh flat leaf parsley, garnish
grated parmigiana reggiano, garnish
Heat stock pot over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add oil until it shimmers in the pan, add diced onion and sprinkle w/ 1/4 tsp salt - saute 5 min, until slightly wilted. Add celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaf and thyme, saute another 5-10 min. While the veggies cook, remove half of the meat from the chicken and dice. Stir in any other optional veggies at this point as well. Make sure to stir occasionally so they don't burn. If the pan is getting too hot, pull the heat back to med or med/low - all pans and stoves will vary.
When the veggies are sauteed, add any of the juices in the bottom of the rotisserie tray to bump up the flavor. Add diced chicken, (chicken stock and/or bouillon) and cover with liquid of your choice until it covers the veggies by about 2-3 inches. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, salt and pepper to taste.