not just any chicken soup

December 20th, 2009 · 23 Comments

i know… we’re in the throes of the holidays and here i am giving you the kind of post you might more be expecting in january. this modest, even unassuming soup is a fine example of the simple comfort food that everyone craves after all the excess and extravaganza that will ring out the year. but for me, even amidst all the decadence, there would be few things on my list that could ever equal the magnificence that is this soup.

imagine. if you had a cold and then you crossed my beloved jewish grandma julia with someone else’s italian nonna, i’m thinking that whatever she’d be cooking for you might look a little something like what you see here.

and really, all i’m saying is that sometimes, sniffles or not, in between all the festivity, undoubtedly filled with an array of benton’s bacon wrapped dates, hudson valley foie gras on pain de mie toast points, baked wheels of brie with fig jam on top, wine braised lamb shanks and slow roasted loins of meat – possibly followed up with a very beloved christmas eve lasagna = not to mention what you may have on the menu for your new year’s celebration… well, you might just want soup.

and of them all, to me this one reigns supreme.

i threw a whole chicken in the pot along with a rough chopped onion, some carrots, bay leaves, cracked peppercorns and salt. after about 90 minutes i removed most of the meat from the carcass and put it off to the side, putting all the bones back in and letting it go for about another 3 hours at barely a simmer. then i added some parsley, thyme and garlic for the last 40 minutes or so.

i strained the broth through a damp towel lined chinois, discarding everything solid and when the liquid was cooled i defatted the stock by about 90%. about 30 minutes before serving i warmed the broth and chopped up some fresh fennel, collard greens and carrots, adding back the all the shredded chicken and lastly i made trofie pasta, keeping it al dente so as not to soften up too much in the soup.

i loved it. deeply…

(a special thanks to chef bob del grosso for his willingness to both coach and reassure me when i am clueless…which is often.)

Tags: chicken · soup

23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Robert // Dec 21, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Fret,

    Amidst al the richness of the season, this is beautiful……. it is even making me feel better.

  • 2 Michele // Dec 21, 2009 at 10:01 am

    This looks fantastic! I could use a bowl of this right now. Pure comfort food.

  • 3 nancy at goodfoodmatters // Dec 22, 2009 at 9:34 am

    After all the lush stuff I’ve been making—and have yet to make–I am so ready for this soup,
    Right Now. Beautiful.

  • 4 Michelle // Dec 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Mmmmmm. I could have used this yesterday and today. sniffle sniffle

    xxoo

  • 5 rach // Dec 23, 2009 at 2:32 am

    Ah chicken soup for the soul, it is one of my favourites and this looks like a most beautiful bowlful and recipe. You made your own trofie !
    Happy Christmas to you, heres to good food thoughtfully made, bottarga, burata and all things nice oh and blog big sisters
    rachx

  • 6 Sally from Cali // Dec 23, 2009 at 9:46 am

    THIS is beautiful food. I am inspired to make this right now. I could use some chicken soup right about now.

  • 7 John // Dec 23, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Keep these posts coming. It’s the real food that keeps me coming back. Well that and your writing! Did you really make the pasta? If so, will you marry me?

  • 8 claudia // Dec 23, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    john – good news.

    i bought the pasta… we’re safe…

  • 9 Trig // Dec 24, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Looks just what my dad will be having if he catches flu in time for Christmas. Otherwise we’ll just have to make do with the usual stuff. Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. All the best.

  • 10 ethel // Dec 26, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    This soup is welcome anytime, any season.
    Did you freeze lots of container’s full?
    I enjoy reading your blog. Seriously, ever think of a book??????

  • 11 Robert // Dec 27, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I’m with Ethel. The world according to Fret. or Around the world in 80 dinners or…….

  • 12 organic baby cribs // Dec 27, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    I tried this recipe last Christmas and my family all loved it. It is something new for them. They are used to the usual chicken soup I served them that is so plain.

  • 13 Kristie // Dec 30, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I’ll take comforting chicken soup over the big holiday spread most days of the year. Looks gorgeous.

  • 14 Carrie // Jan 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I’ve been on a bit of a soup kick lately. This is perfect for winter, in the summer I’m a tomato soup making fiend.

  • 15 lo // Jan 5, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Oh, Claudia. That soup looks wonderful. And the pasta is calling my name. How do trofie hold up in the leftover broth, if I might ask?

    I’ve got a case of the sniffles myself, and just made a batch of chile-based chicken soup (reconstituted pasillas and anchos pureed, strained, and whorled through delicious homemade stock) this past weekend.

  • 16 John // Jan 5, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Claudia, I was hoping.

  • 17 Rachel (S[d]OC) // Jan 6, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I need to make some lovely chicken soup like this. I have too much stock in the freezer and I’m eating up any soup blog post I can find.

    Your pasta looks wonderful.

  • 18 Ian // Jan 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Thats is really nice soup. I tried it yesterday and the family loved it. Thanks so much.

    I love reading your recipes. They are so appealing.

    Ian
    WorldGroceries.co.uk

  • 19 Bren // Jan 20, 2010 at 12:04 am

    bay leaves work so well in soups! esp. chicken ones. like the noodles u used here, chicka. so glad to be back to CEF! :)

  • 20 yveala // Jan 25, 2010 at 12:56 am

    tis the season to need something warm!
    i love serving variations of old favorites – keeps the family happy without being boring…
    and the family loved this one.

    thanks, love this blog!!

  • 21 Dave // Apr 25, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I tried this recipe last Christmas and my family all loved it. It is something new for them. They are used to the usual chicken soup I served them that is so plain.

  • 22 Simon // Apr 25, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Mmmmmm. I could have used this yesterday and today. sniffle sniffle

    xxoo

  • 23 William // Apr 26, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Oh, Claudia. That soup looks wonderful. And the pasta is calling my name. How do trofie hold up in the leftover broth, if I might ask?

    I’ve got a case of the sniffles myself, and just made a batch of chile-based chicken soup (reconstituted pasillas and anchos pureed, strained, and whorled through delicious homemade stock) this past weekend.

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