A few years ago, I found the recipe for Fast Chicken Soup Base in the Sunday magazine section of the newspaper. The basic recipe by Pam Anderson never changes, but vary the veggies, herbs, and pasta, and it's never the same twice. It's my go-to soup recipe whether I'm watching my weight or not.
Fast Chicken Soup Base
Makes 3 1/2 - 4 quarts. Serves 8.
2 quarts chicken broth, plus 1 quart water
1 store-bought roast chicken
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions (2 cups), cut into medium dice
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into rounds or half rounds, depending on size
2 large celery stalks, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Bring broth and water to a simmer over medium-high heat in a large soup kettle. Meanwhile, separate chicken meat from skin and bones; reserve meat. Add skin and bones to the simmering broth. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer until bones release their flavor, 20 to 30 minutes.
Strain broth through a colander into a large container; reserve broth and discard skin and bones. Return kettle to burner set on medium-high.
Add oil, then onions, carrots and celery. Saute until soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add chicken, broth and thyme. Bring to a simmer. (Can be refrigerated up to 3 days in advance. Return to a simmer before adding the extras of your choice.)
Today I added:
1 14 ounce can of Swanson's Vegetable Broth
1 yellow summer squash, diced
1 zucchini, diced
3 small kohlrabi, peeled and diced
1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen French cut green beans
1 teaspoon Penzeys Tuscan Sunset herb blend
A bowl of this soup, a few crisp crackers, and a piece of fruit makes a perfect lunch at home or at work.