Back to the Kitchen: Chicken Soup to the Rescue

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Let’s just say that the Southern California weather is just a bit crazy! I have brought out my fall and winter ware only to put them away again and again. My daughter missed two days of school last week and still feels pretty lousy today. Most of my friends and staff are pushing through with sniffles and sore throats. Doctor Mom Chef Gwen says “Airborne and Chicken Soup!” I prepare pots this time of year and enjoy making a variety of this liquid penicillin. So try one of these even if just to warm your family up on a chilly night.

Chicken soup can be made many ways.

Basic Chicken Stock

1 red onion, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups white wine

1 chicken carcass

10 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot combine all above ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and cover and simmer for one hour. Strain the stock and toss the solids. (You should get about 10 cups) You can freeze half or you can freeze in ice cube trays and pop out single servings as needed for sauces.

Old Fashioned Chicken and Egg Noodle

8 cups chicken stock

2 bone-in chicken thighs

2 bone-in chicken breasts

2 cups diagonally sliced carrot

2 cups diagonally sliced celery

1 cup chopped onion

6 ounces uncooked medium egg noodles

1/2-teaspoon kosher salt

1/2-teaspoon black pepper

Celery leaves

Combine the first three ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; let stand for 10 minutes. Remove chicken from skin and bones; shred meat into bite-sized pieces. Discard bones. Add carrot, celery, and onion to pan; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer 6 minutes. Add chicken, salt, and black pepper; cook for 2 minutes or until noodles are done. Garnish with celery leaves. Serves 4-6.

Matzo Ball Soup

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons rendered chicken fat or Crisco

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

14 tablespoons matzo meal

10 cups chicken stock

3 carrots, sliced

2 medium parsnips, sliced

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and chicken fat until combined. Whisk in 1/2-cup water and salt. Add matzo meal, and whisk until combined. Cover and refrigerate batter until firm, 2 to 4 hours. Line a baking pan with parchment. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a large wide saucepan, and reduce heat to a simmer. Slightly dampen your fingertips, and form 2 heaping tablespoons of batter into a 1 1/2-inch ball, being careful not to compress the mixture too much. Place ball on the prepared pan. Repeat process with remaining batter. Using a large spoon, slide the matzo balls into the simmering stock. Once all the balls have been added, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add carrots and parsnips, cover, and continue cooking for 20 to 25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the matzo balls are cooked through. Garnish with fresh dill, and serve immediately

Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 small jalapeno, finely chopped

1 lemongrass stock, bruised

Juice of 3 limes

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups coconut milk

1 pound boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced

Fresh cilantro for garnish

Greek Lemon Soup

8 cups chicken broth

1/2-cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 cup cooked orzo

1 cup chicken breast, cooked and diced

16 slices lemon

8 egg yolks

Salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, lemon juice, carrots, onions and celery. Bring to a boil on high on high and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. Beat the egg yolks until light in color. Gradually add some of the hot soup to the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Return the egg mixture to the soup pot and heat through. Add the orzo and chicken. Ladle hot soup into bowls and garnish with lemon slices.

Spicy Tex-Mex Chicken Soup

1/4-cup olive oil

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

1 red, green and yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 carrot, diced

1 red onion, chopped

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon each cumin and chili powder

1 can diced tomatoes with juice (I like to use yellow if you can find them.)

5 cups chicken stock

1-pound boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed

2 cups corn kernels

1/2-cup fresh cilantro (for garnish)

1 cup tortilla chips, crunched (for garnish)

diced avocado

cheddar cheese

In a large soup pot heat oil over medium heat. Add peppers, garlic, carrots, onion, thyme, cumin and chili powder. Sauté, stirring continually for about 10 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes, chicken and stock. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for 1/2 hour. Remove the chicken breasts and let cool then dice into bite size peaces. Return to pot and add the black beans and corn and bring to another boil. To serve add a handful of chips to the bottom of each bowl add soup and garnish with fresh cilantro, cheddar cheese and avocado.

Gwen Kenneally is the owner of Back to the Kitchen, Full Service Catering and Party Planning. She is the co-founder and master baker at Magpie Gourmet Mini Pies.  Check out her websites and  Her Sweet and Savory Cookbook is available through AMAZON .


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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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