Just Chicken Vegetable Soup
I hope you enjoyed the post title! I had fun with that. I also had a short story all thought up to go with the title, and I thought it was pretty funny at the time. Unfortunately, all I can remember right now is that I thought up a story and thought it was pretty funny. Sometimes writing does that to me. Sometimes it clears my mind of all other things, and something surprising comes out of my fingers (yes, I write with my fingers, not a pen). Almost like magic. And sometimes I don’t forget the story, and I can relay it back to you all with a humored grin on my face, despite that there’s a pretty good chance that no one else thinks I’m funny…
Just chicken vegetable soup. I really enjoy soup season. Fall, winter, and spring here in NYC is prime soup season for me and my wife. And we always know that soup season has kicked off with aplomb once I’ve made the first chicken soup of the season. It’s almost a “Soup Season Tradition” for us. Perhaps we should call it that.
One of the things that I like the most about Soup Season is the use of spices. I do a lot of steak with nothing but turmeric or pepper. I like the flavor of steak, and only really want to hide that flavor with spices when I’m making something “fancy”. But when it comes to soups, it’s all about the spices! Of course, you don’t just grab a random handful of spice jars and just use them. You carefully, artfully choose the spices you’re going to include in order to maximize your enjoyment, and the specific flavors, of the dish. Today’s key players are: fresh sliced lemongrass, fresh chopped rosemary, and turmeric (sorry, not fresh).
What you’ll need:
- 1 lb Chicken Thigh Meat
- 2 medium Yellow Squashes, sliced
- 10 oz Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
- 3-4 medium Carrots, sliced
- 1 cup sliced Fennel Bulb
- 1 cup sliced Celery
- 4-6 tablespoons fresh Rosemary, sliced
- 4-6 tablespoons sliced fresh Lemongrass
- 2 tablespoons Turmeric
- Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Serves: 6-8 (I always make plenty for leftovers)
Cook and Prep time: 60 minutes (I prep the spices and vegetables while the soup cooks)
1. In the soup pot, add the chicken and several cups of water and cook on high, covered.
2. Slice the lemongrass first, and add it to the soup as it is ready, followed by adding the turmeric, then chopping up the rosemary and adding it to the pot.
3. Let the chicken and spices cook for 5-10 minutes, on high heat, before adding anything else to the pot.
Note: This is a good time to prepare the other vegetables.
4. After the chicken has had some time to cook through, add the carrots, fennel, and mushrooms to the soup, as well as refreshing the water. Always make sure that there is more than enough water to fully submerge all of the ingredients (keeping in mind, of course, that the vegetables float…).
5. Allow another 5-10 minutes of cook time, then uncover the pot and using a serving fork and some tongs, fish out the chicken chunks, and shred the chicken back in to the pot, leaving it as shredded as you have the patience to make it. I do this instead of cutting it in to chunks, because I like the texture of the shredded chicken much better than chunks of it.
6. About 15 minutes before meal time add the remaining ingredients to the soup. Again, refresh the water in the soup so that there is plenty of water to cover all of the vegetables.
7. Just before serving, add the salt and pepper, and increase the water of the soup to the point that there’s the right amount of broth to suit your tastes (some people like a lot of broth, some people like less…). And serve and enjoy!
- Do you ever forget something right as you’re about to say it? Or write it?
- What is your favorite kind of soup?
- When you do chicken soup, which spices do you use?
- Do you prefer your chicken soup to be a “slow-cooked” meal, or something you throw together in a quick 30-minute prep session, just before dinner time?
- What meal really personifies the beginning of soup season for you?