Monday, December 27, 2010

Simple Soup

Contributor Jim Dixon's last post of the year comes with a twist on a classic soup. Appropriate to kick off a brand new decade, no?

We’ll all be eating too much over the next week or so, and holiday food tends toward rich and extravagant. When you need a break, make this simple and relatively quick chicken soup.

Simple Chicken Soup

Put 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cheaper and better flavor than breast meat) in a couple of quarts of water, add sea salt and start cooking. While the chicken’s cooking, chop an onion, carrot, and some celery. (I never buy a whole bunch, but instead cherry-pick the inner stalks from the loose celery in the New Seasons produce section so I get the tasty leaves, too.) Toss it in, then chop a half head of green cabbage. A small can of tomatoes is an option, but not necessary. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Use tongs to fish out the chicken thighs and set them aside to cool a bit. Taste the broth, adding more salt if necessary. I also add a splash of fish sauce (or even a few diced anchovies), a little soy and a healthy dose of Crystal hot sauce. If you want a more substantial soup, add a half cup or so of Koda farms brown rice. Tear or chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and return to the broth. Simmer until the rice is done, about a half hour. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil at the table.

You can find Jim at his Real Good Food "warehouse" most, but not all, Mondays, where he has a stunning array of artisan salts, vinegars, olive oils, grains and beans available for purchase. You can e-mail Jim to get on his list to be notified when he's open!


Florian said...

Plain fantastic: I just polished off a plate of a similarily simple duck soup and came across your recipe literally 5 minutes later. We all have similar cravings right now, I suppose. What you could try is to strip the meat off the bones after half an hour and return the bones to the pot to cook for a bit longer. That way you will extract as much flavur as is humanely possible from your chicken without overcooking the meat.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Great minds, as they say! I normally make my stock from the carcass of a roasted chicken, so this makes perfect sense. Thanks for the suggestion!