Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Best Chicken Soup

So, I learned almost everything I know about cooking from my mother. She is a fantastic cook. Brilliant, even.

However, when we're making chicken soup, the rest of the family wants me to make it.

This soup is fantastic, and it couldn't be easier. You can use whatever chicken you have around. If you have a whole chicken lying about, FANTASTIC! Pop that sucker in some broth and water and cook until it falls apart, then strain the bones out of the liquid and make your soup. Have no chicken around and want a shortcut? Buy a rotisserie chicken, "disassemble", and use that.

In my house, we usually have boneless, skinless chicken breasts. These are the culinary equivalent of linoleum flooring: functional. Not pretty, not drool-inducing... Functional. But they still work, because of all the other delicious little things that get thrown into this soup!

  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cups corn, either fresh or frozen
  • 1 box frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 large (28oz) can diced tomatos
  • 3 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 bottles amber beer (Sam Adams, Killians, or anything you like)
  • 6 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. tumeric (yes really)
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Place olive oil, onions, carrots,and celery in a large soup or stock pot and saute until softened, ~5 minutes.
  2. Add chicken and cook until chicken is at least partially cooked, ~5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, saute 1 minute.
  4. Add thyme and rosemary.
  5. Add wine and stir to deglaze the pot. Stir in mustard. Bring to a boil.
  6. Once boiling, pour in 1 beer, chicken broth/stock, and tomatoes (including their juice).
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Drink the other beer, you've earned it.
  8. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  9. Add peas, corn, and spinach; return to a gentle boil.
  10. Add tumeric. The soup should turn a pleasant yellow color. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

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