Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chicken Soup from a Chain Deli is SO BAD

I have a cold. A bad cold. It's the cold that everybody's getting, and of course, there's no time to take a sick day at work this week. Add to that that I've been too busy and too tired from being sick to cook much, and too scared to spend money on non-essentials given what's going on with the economy. But I broke down this afternoon and went out for a cup of soup at Pax deli in lower Manhattan. Seven dollars?! But that's not the worst part of it....the soup was TERRIBLE. I mean, really super terrible. It was so incredibly bland, the broth was almost like water.

Fortunately, I brined and roasted a small organic chicken on Sunday night, so tonite, so I decided to invest a small amount of time making my own damn chicken soup for tomorrow.

One good thing about being a refrigerator packrat is that you can always find something to make soup. I found two wilted carrots, some wilty celery, wilty parsley, and some brittle rosemary. I threw the brittle rosemary into a pot with enough water to cover the chicken carcass (we had already made two roasted chicken dinners and some salad with shredded chicken on top) and started a rolling boil. Then I sauted the chopped carrots, celery, a medium onion, and about six cloves of garlic that I chopped together with the wilty parsley and some thyme. Chopped those together so that the garlic absorbs the flavor of the herbs, and the herbs pick up a garlicky flavor. It's kind of like a mash when it's done, or like an herb paste. I sauteed those until they were nice and carmelized.

Once the broth was cooked down and clear, and the rest of the chicken was falling off the bone, I took a bowl and poured the entire chicken stock mixture through a strainer into the bowl. I put the broth from the bowl back into the soup pot and added the sauteed vegetables. I like to sort through the stuff that ends up in the strainer and pick the good pieces of meat out to throw back in the soup.

I'm tellin' you. This soup will definitely warm your heart, and help your immune system get itself back up and running.

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