My dearest, darling Taylor,
You are so very good at so many things. I know this because we went to college together and were in the same sorority (yes, y’all, Kappa Deltas are ballin’). You write a touching, yet hilarious, blog
about motherhood and witty articles in actual publications
. And, oh yeah, you’re mom to an adorable little nugget.
Come on. Is there anything cuter?
Look at his delight at the pho. This boy loves soup!
Wee Connor loves vegetables and hates bananas. I love Wee Connor.
But apparently, dear Taylor, you are not the best at making soup.
I haven’t tasted your soup. I fear you may be hard on yourself. Cause surely if you can make a human, you can make a soup, right? To be fair, I don’t exactly know how you make humans. It’s in a stock pot, right?
Winter is coming and without soup, you may die in Chicago. So, I’ve got three recipes for easy soup handpicked for you. I could say they’re foolproof, but you ain’t no fool. Friendproof? Eh, I’m still working on that one.
PS. If anyone else is eavesdropping with their eyeballs, aka eyvesdropping, these recipes will probably not work for you. These will literally only work for Taylor.
This is my Gramma’s recipe for her vegetable beef soup. No Grammas were harmed in the making of this soup. The most time consuming thing is the vegetable choppery. This is soup from an Indiana woman, so you know it’s going to keep you guys warm in the wintertimes. Plus, bonus: it’s delicious.
Say what you will about Rachael Ray (I hate when she calls it EVOO. There I said it.) But some of her recipes are really great. This is one of my favorites. It’s a simple, quick, stick-to-your ribs kind of soup. Plus, it’s easy to double and freezes well for up to 2 weeks.
Don’t be daunted by stock makery. I made the stock, but I had time to make some stock. I think there are places where you can easily take shortcuts. Buy a rotisserie chicken and use that. Buy boxed/canned stock instead of making your own. Would it be better to make your own at home? Eh, maybe. But ain’t nobody got time for that.
For the soup:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 quarts chicken stock, recipe follows
- 8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.
For the Chicken Stock:
- 1 whole free-range chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), rinsed, giblets discarded
- 2 carrots, cut in large chunks
- 3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
- 2 large white onions, quartered
- 1 head of garlic, halved
- 1 turnip, halved
- 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in only enough cold water to cover (about 3 quarts); too much will make the broth taste weak. Toss in the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and allow it to slowly come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done. As it cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface; add a little more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered while simmering.
Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. When its cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; hand-shred the meat into a storage container.
Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into another pot to remove the vegetable solids. Use the stock immediately or if you plan on storing it, place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir to cool down the stock. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze.
Yield: 2 quarts