Soup is the ultimate comfort food, and as our days get busier, it makes for a meal that can be enjoyed over and over again (it reheats beautifully). A mix of fall vegetables provides the harvest element.
- 1 Chicken, fresh, roaster size, giblet bag removed
- 1 Onion, peeled, sliced
- 1 Carrot, peeled, sliced
- 2 stalks Celery, sliced
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, peeled, large dice
- 2 Leeks, white and light green portion, halved lengthwise, rinsed well between the layers, large dice
- 2 Carrots, large, peeled, large dice
- 2 Parsnips, large, peeled, large dice
- 1 Sweet Potato, large, peeled, large dice
- 2 Turnips, large, peeled, large dice
- 4 cups Mushrooms, assorted varieties, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups Pumpkin Puree (this can be purchased at the grocery store or you can make it yourself)
- To Taste: Kosher or Sea Salt
- To Taste: Black Pepper, freshly ground
- To Taste: Granulated Garlic
- 1 bunch Dill, fresh, chopped
- 1 bunch Parsley, fresh, chopped
- In a stock pot that is large enough to comfortably hold the chicken without being too big, add the chicken and first measure of carrot, onion and celery. Cover with water by one inch. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, adding water, if needed, to keep the chicken covered as it cooks. Skim any scum that rises to the surface as the chicken cooks and discard.
- Remove the pot from the stove and allow to cool on the stove, until cool enough to handle the chicken. This extra time will allow for added flavor extraction into the broth, yielding a more flavorful broth. Remove the chicken from the now cool broth. Strain the broth and chill. Cover and refrigerate the broth for a few hours. Pull the meat from the chicken carcass, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Once the chilled broth has sat undisturbed for a few hours, carefully skim the fat off of the top of the broth. Reserve this fat.
- It a thick, heavy bottomed stock pot, pre-heated over medium heat, add a few tablespoons of the reserved fat and the olive oil. Heat through. Add the onion and leeks and sweat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, translucent and highly aromatic; roughly 20 minutes. Add the rest of the diced vegetables, (not the mushrooms) stir well and continue to sweat until the veggies are bright in color and aromatic, roughly 25 minutes more Add the mushrooms and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the strained, cooled broth, pumpkin puree and pulled chicken meat and bring to a simmer. Add additional water, as needed, to achieve a soup like consistency.
- Taste and season with plenty of salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Since many chicken soup recipes call for the use of additional chicken broth or base, which has a lot of salt, or call for the chicken to be simmered much longer, yielding a more flavorful broth but drier chicken, neither is the case here, so proper salting is needed in order to give this soup a full flavor and to counter the sweetness added from the sweating of the vegetables and the pumpkin puree. Add the dill and parsley. Cook for approximately 10 minutes more to marry flavors. Taste and then season again before serving.