Homemade Chicken and Pastina Soup

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It snowed yesterday.
A lot.
I’m tired of snow….

I know we live in a country that typically gets plenty of snow every year but this year has been ridiculous! So, to combat my snow sadness, I made soup.  Good ol’ chicken soup. This is something that should be in everyone’s recipe repertoire as it is: 1. crazy easy 2. totally tummy-soothing and cold-curing 3.  a great way to get the most moist cooked chicken for chicken sandwiches 4. a no brainer to get some chicken stock in your freezer. Alright, so it does need some time to cook.  It’s a no-brainer thing to do while you are doing weekend chores at home, but you can also start it when you are cleaning your dinner dishes and finish it the next day… …so you can have hot soup… …while you are shoveling snow…. …again… 🙁

1.  Grab a big soup pot (makes sense to use a soup pot for soup, no?).  Add some chicken pieces (either a whole roasting chicken, chicken pieces like legs or even chicken bones from the butcher…although this isn’t my favourite because then you don’t get any poached chicken at the end);  add the flavour ingredients like:
1-2 carrots (scrubbed but not peeled)
a large onion (cut off ends but leave the skin for a nice golden colour)
a couple of stalks of celery
a handful of peppercorns
a clove or two of garlic
some parsley stems (remember the ones we froze in this post?).
 Cover it all with cold water and simmer for an hour or 2 (on a very low simmer).  No need to cover the pot.
2.  As it cooks, the impurities from the chicken will float to the top (it will look kinda gross – all foamy and everything – so you can just use a large spoon to scoop it away).  Don’t worry if you don’t get it all because it will just add to the flavour.
3.  Put the stock through a strainer and separate the broth from the rest of the ingredients.  Pull out the chicken (and I like to use the carrot too) and put the rest of the stuff in the green bin/composter.
4.  Place the broth in the fridge overnight.  The fat from the stock will congeal at the top.  This is really flavourful so feel free to leave some (remember, fat = flavour!).  If you would like a fat free soup, remove it all…but you will probably need to season it more at the end.
This is how easy it is to scoop away…
5.  Cut the carrot up and remove the chicken from the bones and shred into bite sized pieces.
6.  Place the stock back into a soup pot and season with a bit of salt.  Bring it to a boil and add a couple of handfuls of small pasta (pastina) to the pot.  You can even use spaghetti that has been broken up (that’s what nonna used to do).  Once it’s almost cooked, add the chicken and carrots back in and heat through.
7.  Serve immediately to get that tummy warming goodness!
Then you can go back to your shoveling….I’m making a very small dent.
Maybe I’ll just wait until May…it should all melt by then 🙂