living in vermont - you eat a lot of soup. it is so cold here for so long you just crave warm filling soupy goodness. i love hot bowl of soup with a hunk of bread or a nice salad. there is nothing better. and the secret to making good soup is good stock. homemade chicken stock makes everything taste so much better.
i really like the idea of making soup. it is so cheap to cook up a big pot. it is made from a bunch of leftovers and bones and scraps. it is really such a simple way to stretch a bunch of food out longer. and it fills the house with the most amazing smell. it is incredible comforting.
i try to use as many leftovers for this as i can. i use the carcass of the chicken from the previous roasted chicken recipe. i also like to save veggie clippings by throwing them into a ziploc bag and then tossing the bag into the freezer. i save things like celery tops, potato peels, carrot tops, onions tops and skins, pieces of tomato and zucchini. anything that doesn't have too strong of a flavor - like broccoli or asparagus. when i am ready to make soup i can just add them to the pot along with the veggies.
1 chicken carcass or one whole cut up chicken
2 stalks celery
3 carrots - peeled
7 or 8 crushed garlic cloves
fresh cracked pepper
several sprigs of thyme
several springs of rosemary
several sprigs of flat left parsley
or handful of any other kind of herb you want to add
get yourself a big ass pot. seriously. take the leftover chicken and remove any giblets or lemon. put the chicken in the pot and scrape all the tasty seasonings and stuff from the bottom of the pan into the pot. if you are not using a left over chicken, just throw all the cut up chicken straight in there instead. fill the pot with water about 3/4 of the way.
add veggies, garlic, seasoning and any other junk you want to throw in there. this is pretty much up to you. i really like thyme & rosemary but season your soup with whatever you like.
so let all this come to a boil. you can throw a lid on this to make it go faster. then let the soup simmer uncovered for a few hours. drool at smell while waiting.
after the soup is done, you should let it cool. if it is winter just throw that big ass pot on the porch over night to chill. or toss it in the fridge for the night. you need to let the soup cool before you can strain it.
the next morning - scrape the hardened fat off the top of the soup and discard it. using a slotted soup - fish out the chicken and put it in a separate bowl. then scoop out the veggies and stuff and toss them.
strain the soup by using a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth into another pot. or you can strain soup directly into tupperware containers to go into the freezer. discard all the leftover junk from the stock. then shred any leftover chicken and add if you like.
this freezes well. which is why you so much of it. this recipe will make alot of soup. several containers worth. so make it - toss in the freezer. and you will have enough soup to last you for a while. and you will thank me later.