This morning I woke up still in a haze from last night’s Big Gigantic show. If you don’t know who they are, please do yourself a favor and check ’em out. This is my second time seeing them live at Belly Up and their shows are simply amazing. Electronic mixed with instrumentals (drums and saxophone), but more on that later. Looking out my balcony window, I decided that I wanted to cook a soup that would compliment this dreary winter weather and also soothe my soul.
So this is what I came up with:
Post Big Gigantic Winter Chicken and Veg Soup
- Corn, preferably fresh and uncooked
- Small red potatoes
- Red chard, can use any variety of chard
- Chicken breast
- Bay leaf
- Olive oil
- Chicken broth
- Sea Salt
- Lemon juice
- Pasta (optional)
Saute thinly sliced shallots with a couple bay leaves and sprigs of fresh thyme in a few tablespoons of olive oil for five or so minutes. Chop carrots, chard stems (not leaves) and potatoes, and stir in with shallot mixture. Next add the liquid (equal parts chicken stock and water) and heat to a boil, 5-10 minutes.
Add raw chicken breasts and allow to cook thoroughly in the simmering liquid on med-high heat. When the chicken is cooked through, remove from soup and allow to cool before shredding and placing back into the soup. If you would like to add noodles to your soup (in my version I added macaroni noodles), add the raw pasta at this time and simmer at least until noodles are thoroughly cooked. Shortly before serving, add the corn (sliced off the cob), chopped chard leaves and the juice of half a lemon. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs and season appropriately with salt and pepper.
Before serving, divide into bowls and top with a generous portion of grated parm.
The beauty of this recipe is that it is more of a template than anything, really. You can almost use any combination of vegetables; what comes to mind is broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, spinach, whatever.
Just make sure to sweat the shallots first, then add the firmer vegs first with the liquid, cook the meat, and save the lemon juice and chard (or any other leafy green) for right before you serve. The parm on top adds saltiness, so keep that in mind when salting the soup. Lastly, remember to keep the liquid to solid proportion should be correct (in other words, use more liquid than you’d think as there are a lot of solid components to this dish that add up.)