The first thing you will need for this soup is one of these:
This is just what it looks like, a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. I generally try to get the plain, roasted kind, but in a pinch a lemon pepper one will do. Just dont go for the barbecue kind. Not a good flavor for chicken soup! The great thing about using an already roasted chicken is that whomever you send to the store really cant mess it up.
The next things youll need are some vegetables. I always use carrots, celery and onions to start, but sometimes I add parsnips, rutabaga, green beans or zucchini. It just depends on what you have and what you like. If you feel so crummy that you cant even bear the thought of chopping a few vegetables, you can also use frozen ones. I would still suggest you use some fresh carrots, celery and an onion though, because they will help to flavor your soup.
You will also need some canned chicken broth. Either regular or low sodium will do. I mix it half and half with water. I also suggest having some kind of small pasta on hand to add at the end. You could also use microwaveable rice. Personally, I dont care for it. But, it works in a pinch.
Fresh parsley or dill adds a nice touch, but if you dont already have some, skip it. The whole point of this is to keep things quick and easy, so you can rest!
Once you have all of your ingredients ready, all you have to do is toss them all (except the pasta) in a large stock pot and simmer for about 30 minutes. Then, take out the chicken and remove the meat from the carcass. Shred it and add it back to the soup. Remove the vegetables, slice them up and add them back in too. About ten minutes before you plan to eat your soup, add the pasta to cook and voila! Youre done!
This soup is really hearty and full of deep, rich homemade flavor. It's quick and easy to prepare, but it tastes like it took all day. The perfect thing to nurse yourself back to health!
Quick, But It Tastes Like It Took All Day Chicken Soup
1 fully cooked rotisserie chicken
3 carrots, trimmed, rinsed and scrubbed
3 ribs celery, trimmed and rinsed
1 large onion, unpeeled and quartered
4 whole cloves
2 quarts chicken broth
2 quarts water
2 cups uncooked pastina or other small pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Small handful of parsley or dill sprigs for garnish (optional)
Stud each clove in one onion quarter.
In a large stock pot, add the whole chicken, carrots, celery and onions.
Add broth and water until chicken is just covered. You might have to add a little more or less, depending on the size of your chicken. Use your judgment. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.
Remove chicken and vegetables. Strain soup and return to pot.
Add pasta to the soup and simmer about 8-10 minutes more, until pasta is tender.
Meanwhile, remove chicken meat from the carcass and shred into small bits. Slice the carrots and celery and add it all back to the pot.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley or dill, if desired.