Jami reminded me the other day that the name of this Tumblr is Thing I Ate That I Love, not Screenshots From Lesbian Novels That I Loved. Well, she put it more nicely, anyway, this post is for Jami! Hi Jami!
The most important thing about an easy chicken soup recipe is that it has to be so easy you can make it when you’re sick. This eliminates, right off the bat, any recipes that involve making homemade stock as a first step of the recipe. Of course, if you have homemade stock sitting around in the fridge/freezer you can sautée some vegetables and chicken, insert stock, simmer til everything is tender and move on with your agenda of watching Veep on your laptop via stolen HBO GO.
Stock/broth from a box is a no-go, though. I’m not being a snob, I’m looking out for your tastebuds. Stock from a box is ok as an ingredient in some things, but not a soup that’s primarily broth. It is wack and also why does it cost $4? It probably costs $.13 to produce. It tastes like the smell of a nursing home. You are seriously better off, in a dire pinch, using this stuff, which doesn’t taste great but also doesn’t taste vile. If you’ve been sick to your stomach a cup of this, sipped daintily from a tiny spoon, is a great first food to eat (drink.)
Anyway, here is my soup hack when you have no stock on hand. It results in a soup that is a little oily but that’s ok, it’s good for your sore throat. (You can skim the layer of fat off the refrigerated leftovers tomorrow when you’re feeling better.)
3 leeks, sliced
3 medium carrots (or one big thick carrot), cubed
3 small parsnips, cubed
3 cloves garlic, smashed
sprig fresh thyme (optional)
2 lbs chicken parts, skinless if poss, some with bones if poss.
In a dutch oven, brown the chicken in some olive oil. Remove to a plate, then add all the vegetables and cook in the olive/chicken oils til the leeks are wilted. Add the chicken back in plus enough water to cover, then simmer gently, covered, (ie don’t boil the eff out of it) til the chicken is cooked through. So you are sort of poaching the chicken during this part of the recipe. Remove the cooked but not rubberized chicken and allow to cool while the soup continues to cook, partially covered. When it’s cool enough to handle, shred the chicken and give small manageable pieces of its skin and gristly bits to your cat and put the good parts back in the soup. Then: eat! Heal thyself!
This is the most recent iteration of a recipe I have probably published on the internet 40 times btw, but this is the best version.