Chicken soup: simple, fulfilling, and nutritious.
Today, I looked in my fridge, and chicken thighs and chicken broth were both there. Sounds like a good day for soup.
I started off by chopping up a potato and an onion. In a small saucepan over low heat, I sautéed a handful of baby carrots, eight or 10 cloves of garlic, and the potato and onion. The whole mix sizzled and emitted an aroma that I could only call “Mom’s Kitchen.”
While the veggies were cooking, I cut the meat off of one chicken thigh. It was an exceptionally chubby chicken, and I took my time removing the fat before I chopped it into about 1 inch chunks.
I tossed the chicken into the pan, stirred it, and let it sauté for a few minutes more. Then I added spices, salt-and-pepper, and 1 quart of chicken stock. I had homemade chicken stock, but store-bought chicken stock (low-sodium by preference) would work too.
Once the soup began to simmer, I turned the heat down very low, and left it simmer uncovered for an hour. I stirred two or three times.
Soup improves the longer you simmer it. What had been a bland and watery broth when I started turned into a deeply flavored, savory chicken soup, with sweet notes of roasted garlic paring well against the dark meat chicken.
I found that the garlic still had more crunch and “raw” garlic flavor that I’d hoped. When I make this dish again, I will start sautéing the garlic three or four minutes before all the rest of the veggies.
Impromptu chicken soup for two
- one small onion
- one small potato
- 1/2 cup baby carrots OR regular carrots coarsely chopped
- 8-10 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp olive oil
- one chicken thigh, deboned and fat removed, chopped into one inch (ish) chunks
- 1 quart chicken stock (low sodium)
- 1 tsp basil
- salt to taste (around 1/4 tsp)
- pepper to taste (around 1/4 tsp)
- Chop the onion and pepper (and carrots). If the garlic is in large cloves (such as elephant garlic), cut them up too.
- Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat
- Sauté the garlic for about four minutes. It should be fragrant but not yet softening at the end of this step.
- Add the veggies and cook for for about ten minutes, until the onions are becoming translucent and the potatoes are beginning to lose their sharp edges.
- Turn the heat up the medium and add the chicken. Cook for four more minutes, until at least one surface of the chicken chunks is starting to brown.
- Add the salt, pepper, basil and broth, and turn the heat up to high. Once the broth begins to boil, turn the heat down to very low and let the soup simmer for an hour or more.