Your New Favorite Chicken Soup

You know when you're making soup and you just dump literally all of the ingredients into the pot at once and crank the heat up? Well that works when you're in a time crunch, but this step-by-step method allows your bowl to be full of all the right textures in the end. Say goodbye to dried out chicken and mushy vegetables, this soup is like a warm hug on a cold day that you will be proud to say you made from scratch. Making the broth yourself allows a punch of delicious flavors that you can't get from store bought stocks and broths. Enjoy letting your kitchen fill with all of the wonderful smells!


~Makes 6 servings~

Ingredients:

Broth:

1 1/2 lb chicken (thighs or breast)

1 c white wine

root end and leaves from one bunch of celery

3 medium carrots, roughly chopped

half of a yellow onion, cut into two

half of a garlic head

2 bay leaves

1 T black peppercorns

bunch fresh thyme

2 small stalks of lemongrass, sliced lengthwise and roughly chopped

Parmesan rinds (optional, but they add delicious flavor! most grocery stores sell them)

14 c water

kosher salt


Soup:

1 T butter

1 T olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 T chopped fresh rosemary

1 T fresh thyme, plus more for garnishing

3 c diced sweet potatoes (I used white sweet potatoes, they are less sweet and won't get smashed in the soup as much as orange would)

3 c diced celery

2 c diced carrots

1 c Israeli couscous, toasted (toasting bumps up the flavor! Just heat a small pan with olive oil on med heat and toss the dried couscous around in it for a few minutes until golden brown)

1/4 c lemon juice


Method:

To make the broth, place a large pot or dutch oven on high heat. Once the pot is heated, add some olive oil and place your chicken breasts inside. Ideally you will want to do two pieces at a time so that more browning occurs. Just sear the chicken for a couple of minutes per side and then transfer to a plate. It's okay (and even ideal) if the chicken starts to burn and stick to the pot. Remember, you are not cooking the meat completely right now, just browning it. Once you have seared all of the chicken, add the wine to de-glaze, scraping up any of the brown bits remaining. Add all of the vegetables, aromatics, and parmesan rinds and continue to cook on high heat stirring everything around for a couple of minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil, then immediately put on low heat so that the stock is just barely simmering. Keep uncovered. Allow to simmer for ideally at least 2 hours. Place the seared chicken in the fridge in the meantime.


Once that stock has absorbed all of it's wonderful flavors, strain it into a medium pot and hold on low heat. Salt to taste. It's now a broth! Now, soup time. Using that same large pot from the beginning, turn the heat on high and add the butter and oil once heated. When the butter is melted, turn the heat to medium add the onion, garlic, and fresh herbs. Cook until the onion is translucent, continuing to stir for a few minutes. Do not let the garlic burn. Now add the chopped vegetables and stir around to incorporate. Lay the whole pieces of seared chicken on top and add all of your broth. Keep the soup on medium heat. Once the chicken is cooked through (less than 10 minutes), remove them from the soup with tongs and shred them on a cutting board. Wait to add the chicken back until the end, as it will dry out if you do it sooner. Now add the couscous to the soup and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the couscous is done. Add the chicken back to the soup along with the lemon juice. Season to taste. Top with fresh thyme and delight in your masterpiece!




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