This is one recipe you must have in your collection. My daughter, Lauren, says, “It’s great in the winter. It warms your bones and makes you feel happy.” The possibilities are infinite: vary the fresh herbs, or add chopped tomatoes or crushed red peppers.
Yield: about 12 cups.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil
1 5-pound roaster chicken, cut up into parts
1 onion, halved and finely chopped
1 celery stalk, sliced
2 to 3 carrots, sliced or diced
1 parsnip, sliced or diced (optional)
1 teaspoon finely chopped gingerroot
1 garlic clove, pressed or finely chopped
10 cups chicken stock
¼ cup small pasta (such as alphabet or orzo), rice or barley, or 1 large potato, diced
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill leaves
Kosher salt and black pepper
1. Place a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat and when it is hot, add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the chicken and cook until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Set chicken aside. Add the onion, vegetables, ginger, and garlic to the pot and cook, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Add the chicken stock and chicken pieces, raise the heat to high, and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat to low and cook, partially covered, until the chicken is falling off the bone, about 1 to 1½ hours. Remove the chicken to a plate.
3. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the chicken skin and bones and return the chicken meat to the pot. Transfer the soup to a container, cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 3 days. When the fat solidifies at the top of the soup, remove and discard it. The soup can be frozen at this point.
4. To reheat the soup, place it in a pot, add the pasta, and bring to low boil over low heat. Cook until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes (add 15 minutes to cooking time if using rice or barley). Add the dill and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
From Warehouse to Your House: More than 250 Simple, Spectacular Recipes to Cook, Store, and Share When You Buy in Quantity (Simon & Schuster, 2006)