Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chicken Soup...not your mama's

It's a good day for great friends and soup, bread and cheese. This recipe I adapted from Tyler Florence "Ultimate Chicken Soup" has chicken meatballs and cheese tortellini instead of the usual fare. My family likes it better than the regular soup but I still miss the frozen noodles and chunks of chicken from the old days.

Chicken Noodle Soup

  6 to 8 servings  Ingredients
For the soup:
  Extra-virgin olive oil
  3 cloves garlic, smashed
  2 large carrots, chopped
  1 medium onion, chopped
  2 ribs celery, sliced
  1 bay leaf
  4 fresh thyme sprigs
  3 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
  5 parsley stems, plus 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  4 black peppercorns
  Kosher salt
  Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish
For the meatballs:
  1 medium onion, diced
  Olive oil
  6 links organic chicken-apple sausage meat (I can't find this so I ground some chicken with a 1/2 Granny Smith and the rest of this stuff. I used 2 breasts and 3 thighs and the food processor.)
  1 egg
  1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  1 handful fresh parsley leaves
  1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  2 pounds frozen cheese tortellini, store bought
  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the soup:
Set a large stock pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, half the garlic, carrot,
onion, celery, bay leaf, and thyme and gently saute until fragrant, about 5 to 7
minutes. Pour in chicken broth, add parsley stems, black peppercorns and salt,
to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer while you work on meatballs
and tortellini.
For the meatballs:
Caramelize the diced onion in a saute pan with a little olive oil over medium
heat. Add the sausage, egg, onion, thyme, parsley, and cheese to the bowl of a
food processor and pulse until they all come together. Season with salt and
pepper. Heat a skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil until just smoking.
Use a small ice cream scoop to drop meatballs onto skillet. Cook, turning, until
golden brown.
Drop tortellini straight from freezer into soup. Cook until they float. Once
meatballs are browned, add to pot of chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook
for 2 or 3 minutes. Give soup a final seasoning and serve in shallow bowls with
a small shower of Parmesan, olive oil, and parsley.

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