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Chicken soup always makes me feel better


When I have a cold or just when I'm feeling in need of comfort food, I like to make a pot of chicken soup. I like the smell of the soup cooking, how it seems to heat up the room and warm my insides. I'll add different things, but it always starts with onions, carrots, celery and parsley. Sometimes I'll chop up potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, parsnips, turnips or fennel. Any one or all them depending on what I have and how hearty I want the soup to be. At the end I'll throw in rice or pastina or other small soup pasta. Sprinkle grated cheese or cook the soup with the rind from a grating cheese ... yum-o as Rachel Ray would say.

Here's Rache's Italian Chicken Soup recipe:

4 split chicken breasts, skin on (about 4 pounds)
3 small onions, peeled
4 celery ribs, quartered
3 carrots, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon salt
6 whole black peppercorns

One piece of Parmesan cheese rind, about 2 inches wide (optional)
A few handfuls of broken spaghetti (about 1-inch pieces), cooked until al dente
Freshly grated Paremsan cheese
Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional)

1. Place the chicken breasts in a soup pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, skimming any froth, then reduce the heat to low. Add the onions, celery, carrots, salt, peppercorns and Parmesan rind, and simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is cooked through, 1 hour. Remove the chicken and set aside. Continue to simmer the soup, uncovered, for 1 hour longer, then remove the carrots and onions and set the vegetables aside.

2. Strain the broth through a sieve into a large bowl. Using the back of a wooden spoon, press the celery to release its juice (and flavor). If planning to eat the soup right away, skim the surface and discard any fat. If not, cool the soup completely and chill, covered, in the refrigerator. Before reheating, skim the fat. Serve the chicken soup with torn pieces of the chicken and the carrots, onions, spaghetti, Parmesan and parsley. Link

Shared by springshine on 11/4/08