When the weather stars to chill, as it recently has done around here, I really get into making soups and stews. Especially soups. Yesterday I made a chicken soup for the ages, if I say so myself. Several folks have written me for the recipe, and so here it is. This was a quick and easy recipe, start to finish, it should take about 90 minutes or so. Use a big pot and freeze some if you want, as I have already done.
Ok, here we go:
FALL CHICKEN SOUP
(serves a dinner party, house party, tailgate
or just a few folks with lotsa leftovers)
1/2 bunch celery, trimmed, cleaned and chopped
1.5 lbs yellow onions, chopped
2 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
2lbs rutabagas, peeled and cut into small cubes
2lbs. white yams, peeled and cubed
4 tbs olive oil, seperated
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed, leaves chopped
3/4-1 lb arugula, stems removed, leaves chopped
3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
32 oz canned low-salt chicken broth
96 oz water, or more if needed
salt and pepper to taste
In large stew pot or Dutch oven, heat 1-2 tbs olive oil and add celery onions and carrots, stirring and sweating the vegetables until lightly browned. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove veggies with a slotted spoon to a large bowl and add rutabagas and yams to the pot. Stir frequently until the second batch of veggies are lightly browned. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove with slotted spoon and add to cooked veggies in the large bowl.
Heat remaining 2 Tbs of olive oil and brown cubed chicken breasts, working in two batches if necessary. When chicken is nicely browned, add chicken broth and return cooked veggies to pot. Add enough water to cover chicken-veggie mixture by at least one inch or so. Reduced heat to medium and cover until soup heats to a steady, low boil. Add chopped cilantro and stir. Adjust salt and pepper if needed, to taste. Add chopped arugula and stir to circulate through soup. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Simmer for at least 30 min.
Cook a pot of rice or small dried pasta according to package directions if desired. Do NOT add to soup. Rather, place a few large spoonfuls of rice or pasta in a soup bowl and ladle soup over top, stirring gently to combine in bowl. Serve with a green salad or warm crusty bread or both!