On January 28th we’re having a Soup Swap. I call my soup “Healthy Winter Warm-Up”, It’s not fancy; it’s not from a recipe; it just plain old soup. So here’s a tutorial.
Ingredient list for "Healthy Winter Warm-up"
There are some steps that can be shortcutted when there’s not enough time or energy for making a swappable version. I’ll note the steps that can be omitted with the caveat that the best soup is made from following all the directions.
Start with a chicken that has been roasted. Even a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store which has already provided a meal or two is a great candidate for making stock. (You can skip the roasting and use a raw chicken.)
Basic chicken stock in an 8-quart stock pot.
To make basic chicken stock, in a large pot cover a chicken with water, bring to a boil and simmer for at least 2 hours. I also add large chunks of carrots, onion and celery. ( I generally discard the onions and celery and eat the carrots.) These vegetables should cook until all the taste has been transferred to the broth. Taste the broth for seasoning and richness at this point. The vegetables will add flavor but the stock should be delicious in its own right.
Large hunks of boiled (previously roasted) chicken.
While the broth is cooking prepare the aromatic vegetables — onion, carrots, celery — to put into the soup.
Traditional aromatic vegetables for the soup
When chopped these vegetables are called mirepoix (probably named in honour of C. P. G. F. de Lévis, Duke of Mirepoix, 18th-century French general) a most traditional flavor enhancer to all sorts of dishes, especially soups. (Mirepoix is pronounced meer-eh-pwah.)
Mirepoix ready for the soup pot.
Strain the broth from the chicken and vegetables. In the original pot cover the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil and add the mirepoix. (You may omit sauteing and add the vegetables directly to the broth.)
Mirepoix sauteing in the stock pot.
Since I had roasted the chicken before boiling it, in addition to the stock, I also had some liquid made by deglazing the roasting pan with chicken broth. In the following photo you can see the difference in color and richness of plain chicken stock and pan drippings.
Chicken broth on the left, deglazed liquid in the right.
Return all the stock — both light and dark — to the sweated mirepoix.
Large stock pot with stock and mirepoix.
Add the remaining ingredients including the coarsely chopped chicken and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
Canned tomatoes, canned corn, frozen peas and fresh green beans.
When the other ingredients (fresh is best but in winter use what is available) have cooked transfer to individual quart containers to cool then freeze for the Soup Swap.
Six 1-quart containers filled with frozen soup.
Are you swapping anything this year?