Soup season is officially upon us, people! The weather lately has been decidedly dreary, with plenty of rain and wind and chilly temps. I knew when I got home today that it would be soup for dinner.
A few days ago I posted an article on my Facebook page extolling the benefits of eating and drinking bone-based broths. Especially with flu season upon us, you’re definitely gonna want to get some healthy and warming soups into your system!
Simmering a whole chicken is a great method for building a soup base. You cook the meat and make stock all in one go! Then it’s just a matter of throwing in some veggies and a handful of whole grains. This soup is infinitely customizable based on whatever’s in your fridge. You can use any other whole grain or pasta (just adjust the cooking time accordingly).
Make a big pot this weekend and enjoy some soup all week!
Chicken and Farro Soup
This soup is as versatile as you want it to be. This is not so much a recipe as a guideline; you can use any veggies scraps you might have for the broth and then any veggies in your fridge for the soup itself. Top it off with some Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of sriacha, or a dollop of pesto. You can even save the carcass of your chicken to make another batch of stock to freeze for next time you get a soup craving. Makes about 8 large servings.
For the broth:
- 1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds
- 1 onion, cut into quarters (leave the skins on and everything)
- a couple whole cloves of garlic (skins on)
- 1 large carrot, cut into chunks
- a few sprigs of herbs like thyme and oregano
- salt and pepper
For the soup:
- 1 cup farro
- 2 lb potatoes, cut into 1″ chunks
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 1 small cabbage, sliced thin
- a couple of handfuls of kale, roughly chopped
- salt and pepper
- Combine all stock ingredients in a large soup pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes.
- Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a cutting board to cool. Strain the stock and return it to the pot. Taste and add salt if necessary.
- Bring the stock back to a boil. Add the farro, lower to a simmer, and cook for for about 25 minutes.
- In the meantime, remove the meat from the chicken and shred into bite-sized pieces. After the farro has cooked for 25 minutes, add the veggies and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender and the farro is soft, about 20 minutes longer. Top the pot off with a bit more water to cover the veggies if necessary.
- Stir in the chicken right before serving, just long enough to reheat it. Stir thoroughly, check one more time for seasoning, and serve!
PS: Due to lots of holiday traveling, this will be my last post for the year. See you in 2015!