My seeds have sprouted and now I am just waiting for them to grow...and for the spring to actually become springy! The dog walk was FRIGID and WINDY this morning, so when I came in, I decided to make soup. What's better, on a cold day, than having a simmering pot of fragrant soup on the stove?
Now-- I just want to prepare you for the fact that I have a casual approach to recipes! I think that the joy of cooking happens when you are using your hands to measure, toss, and sprinkle, and letting your creativity and your food supply lead the way! Feel free to make substitutions. As long as you are using good ingredients, everything should turn out alright. Have some fun!
So, I started by making the stock (but of course you don't have to -- a nice prepared chicken broth will be fine!). If you are up for the stock-making, first put a chicken carcass in a pot (be sure to save all the yucky-looking but great-tasting gelatinous drippings from the pan or plate for later!) cover it with water, and put it on to boil. Meanwhile, gather up some flavorings...
Let simmer ( and warm up your kitchen!) for an hour or two. The longer it simmers, the more flavorful it will be. When you're ready, take the pot off the heat, and put the chicken on a plate to cool.
Now we'll move on to the soup! If you are using store-bought stock, start here.
Drizzle a few circles of olive oil into a large pot. Add a chopped onion, a couple of chopped carrots, and a couple of stalks of sliced celery, and saute til slightly softened. As you can see, I used carrots that I had frozen last fall -- some yellow and some red.
Meanwhile, pick all the remaining chicken off the chicken carcass. Or chop up some raw chicken into small pieces. Or both!
If you have the gel and drippings from the chicken, add it now, and stir. ( it makes a BIG difference!) Then either pour your homemade chicken stock mixture through a colander into your pot, or add a couple of boxes of chicken stock. Bring to a simmer.
Add the chicken and 4 big handfuls of rice -- maybe 1/2 cup-- and simmer for about 1/2 hour, until rice is almost done. Then add broccoli and green beans ( again, I used my frozen ones)
and simmer about 10 minutes more. And that's it!
Although it should be delicious as it is, I think any soup really benefits from cooling and reheating. And that's one of the great things about soup! It makes enough for a lot of meals, and it just gets better as time goes by! And if I've made more than I think we can eat in several days, I put some into pint ball jars, (filled to about an inch from the top) label them with painters tape, and put them in the freezer. All set for another day! Yum!