Sunday, May 31, 2009

A blogging vacation and my "Sneaky Style" Jewish Chicken Soup

I have taken a blogging vacation. This is not to imply that I have taken a cooking vacation - not at all. I have cooked and baked and photographed. I have simply not gotten around to writing about it, but I will try to remedy that now.

I do actually have a real job that is thankfully growing like crazy but requires much of my personal time. Oh, and then there are my 4 children who, as often I hear them say "I can do it myself", lo and behold...cannot "do it themselves". But I have missed you all - all 4 of my loyal followers :)

I am coming back with a staple - Chicken Soup. There is nothing particularly difficult about making the soup - and its a great starter recipe for a novice because you really cannot screw it up. What I love about my recipe is the "sneaky veggie" puree that finally gets your kids eating those carrots and celery pieces. Not only does it boost the nutrients in the soup but really gives off the most wonderful flavor and color, unlike any other chicken soup I have ever tried.

It's the perfect remedy for colds, it's comforting on rainy days and makes a great entree in the lunchbox - with a thermos, of course.

Of course, it also leaves you with an entire boiled chicken to deal with the next day - anyone thinking chicken salad? Might have to blog about that soon..

Wholesome Chicken Soup - serves at least 8-10 generous bowls

1 Whole, Organic Chicken (I prefer organic as I think it makes a cleaner soup)
2-3 celery stalks, trimmed
2-3 carrots, peeled
1 whole onion, peeled and cut in half
1 bunch of fresh dill
1-2 parsnips, peeled
3-4 tbl kosher salt
2 tbl fresh ground pepper
1 bag egg noodles (whatever size you prefer)

Wash chicken and place in large soup pot. Place all other vegetables on top, cover with water about 3"-5" above chicken and vegetables. Turn heat to high and bring soup to boil. Run it on boil for 15-20mins more. If any "foam" comes to the top, skim it off and toss. (I find with organic chicken you do not get much of this). Add salt and pepper, lower heat to med-low, cover and simmer for 1 - 1.5 hrs more, turning chicken occasionally.

Place a large colander on a large bowl and with tongs remove chicken into colander, allowing extra liquid to empty into the bowl. (Keep putting this liquid back into the pot) Using a strainer, remove all vegetables from the pot into the colander. Keep skimming with a fine mesh sieve until all small pieces are removed and soup is clear.

Save largest chicken pieces for soup or for chicken salad. Place carrots, celery and parsnip pieces into a food processor fitted with the standard blade. Add 1-2 cups of soup liquid to food processor and process 10 seconds until well pureed. Add puree back into the chicken soup, mix in well.

Cover and remove pot from heat. Refrigerate overnight and the next day skim off fat. Return to boil, add noodles and serve.
( you may want to add a bit more salt and pepper at the table)