Tuesday, May 19, 2009

it's not matzoh ball soup

Whenever I have leftover roast chicken I turn it into potpie (check) or soup. Apparently, it's usually matzoh ball soup. Which m requested that I not make this time. Or more precisely (he would appreciate this redaction) he mentioned that he's not as big a fan of matzoh ball soup as I am. Well, that's true. I really love matzoh ball soup. I could eat it every day.

So last night I cobbled something together with the leftover roast chicken. And it wasn't matzoh ball soup. And it was good.

My best soups always seem to be something I come up with on the fly. They all include the roasting juices from the chicken (I think that's what gives the soups a richness) and a variety of vegetables. This time I also wanted rice in my soup so I added some leftover rice+lentil dish I'd made previously. It was a mini-disaster as I'd forgotten to soak the lentils first (the rice was cooked right but the lentils were a mite chewy). But added to the soup the rice bloomed and the lentils were tender. Below is a sort of roadmap of the soup I made last night.

(Leftover) Roast Chicken Soup
1 small onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic smashed
olive oil
3 carrots chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped (I didn't have any celery last night but I usually include it in my soups)
1 small potato chopped
1 bunch of greens like kale or chard (I used both last night) if using chard I like to strip the leafy parts away from the spine and chop up the spine and cook that first and add the leafy bits afterwards
1 bay leaf
red pepper flakes
pan drippings from the roast chicken
homemade stock (I usually cook the innards and the neck in two cups of water for abotu 20 minutes. I throw out the solids and strain any fat and use the water as a stock to flavor soups and other dishes)
additional cup of stock as the homemade batch I used wasn't enough. I usually use Better Than Boullion.
1 3-4 lb whole chicken baked then shred the meat and set aside
about 3/4 cup of cooked rice
ground black pepper to taste

In a large stockpot drizzle olive oil over chopped onions and garlic and sautee until tender over a high heat. Add carrots, celery, potatoes and chard stems stirring occasionally. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add stock, herbs and spices and then cover reducing heat to medium. Cook until vegetables are tender and the herbs have bloomed (about 20 minutes). Add the leafy greens, rice and chicken and reduce heat to low. Serve when greens are wilted and the broth is bubbling. Add ground black pepper to taste.

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