Family and Life Soup Recipe Cookbook

HERBED CARROT SOUP

 

http://www.10thkitchen.com/2012/05/herbed-carrot-soup/

(recipe very slightly adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook)

2 lbs carrots

1 medium potato

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons fresh basil

1 tablespoon fresh oregano

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

Juice of 1/2 lemon (1-2 tablespoons)

Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and chop the carrots and potato into 1-inch chunks and place into a pot with 5-6 cups water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 20 or so minutes, until vegetables are tender and easily pierced with a fork.  (For the oil-free version of this soup, if you wish, you could throw in the onions, garlic and herbs in at this point, too, instead of sauteeing them separately.)  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat up the olive oil over medium heat and add onions.  Saute for a few minutes, until soft and translucent.  Add garlic and fresh herbs and continue cooking for another minute or so, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant and herbs are wilted.

Combine the veggies and cooking liquid, plus the onion mixture, plus the lemon juice, in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and return to the pot to reheat, stirring frequently, over medium heat.  Serve hot, with freshly ground black pepper and additional fresh herbs sprinkled on top, if desired.

 

CROCK POT LENTIL SWEET POTATO SOUP

serves 6-8

Print this recipe!

Ingredients:

4 large carrots, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

1 onion, diced

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1.5 cups chopped green beans

2 cups green lentils

1 tsp minced fresh rosemary

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried oregano

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

64 oz vegetable broth

2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Turn heat on low and cook for 10 hours, adding a little more broth at the end if soup seems too thick.

Time:

10 hours

 

ROASTED RED PEPPER AND TOMATO SOUP

A simple vegan tomato soup with roasted red pepper, vine ripened tomatoes and garlic. Ten ingredients, simple flavors.

Author: Minimalist Baker

Recipe type: Entrée, Side

Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe, vine ripened tomatoes

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 large yellow onion

  • 1 red pepper

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 28 oz can of peeled, whole plum tomatoes (I used San Marzano)

  • 3-4 Tbsp tomato paste

  • sea salt and black pepper

  • 1 cup low-sodium veggie broth

  • 1/2 cup plain almond milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).

  2. Cut tomatoes and onions into wedges and remove some of the tomato seeds with your fingers. Remove seeds from red pepper and cut into even slices.

  3. Place all of the veggies, including the garlic, on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, a generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper and toss. Roast for 40-45 minutes, or until the veggies are tender, lightly browned and close to half their original size. Remove from oven and set aside.

  4. In a large pot over medium to medium-high heat, add canned tomatoes, veggie broth, tomato paste, the slightly-drained vine-ripened tomatoes and the roasted veggies. Add another pinch of salt and pepper, stir and bring to a low boil.

  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Then use an immersion blender, food processor or blender to puree your soup (leave some whole veggies if you prefer more texture).

  6. Return to pot and add 1/2 cup plain almond milk (and more broth if it’s too thick for your liking). You can also sub cream or regular milk.

  7. Cook for 5-10 minutes more on medium to medium-low heat and serve warm.

  8. Optional garnishes: pesto, oregano, parsley, roasted red pepper flake, vegan parmesan cheese, basil, garlic croutons. Will keep in the fridge for several days.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 bowl (of 4) Calories: 184 Fat: 4.6g Saturated fat: .5g Carbohydrates: 36g Sugar: 26g Fiber: 5.5g Protein: 3.3g

 

VEGAN LENTIL SOUP

  • Author: Cookie and Kate

  • Prep Time: 10 mins

  • Cook Time: 45 mins

  • Total Time: 55 minutes

  • Yield: 4 servings

  • Category: Soup

  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

★★★★★

4.9 from 469 reviews

This simple vegan lentil soup recipe comes together quickly with mostly pantry ingredients. Be sure to have your ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking! Recipe yields four large bowls of soup, or six more modest servings.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained

  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste

  • Pinch red pepper flakes

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed

  • Juice of ½ to 1 medium lemon, to taste

Instructions

  1. Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.

  2. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.

  3. Pour in the lentils, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.

  4. Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot and add the chopped greens. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking.

  5. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the juice of half of a lemon. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).

 

SPICY BLACK BEAN SOUP

  • Author: Cookie and Kate

  • Prep Time: 10 mins

  • Cook Time: 45 mins

  • Total Time: 55 minutes

  • Yield: 6 servings

  • Category: Soup

★★★★★

4.9 from 96 reviews

This healthy black bean soup recipe is easy to make with canned beans. Thanks to some basic aromatics and Cuban spices, it’s incredibly flavorful and delicious. This soup is naturally vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. The recipe yields quite a bit of soup (6 to 8 servings)—it is easily halved, or you can freeze the leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped

  • 3 celery ribs, chopped fine

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds

  • 6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

  • 4 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (use ¼ teaspoon if you’re sensitive to spice)

  • 4 (15-ounce) cans of black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, to taste, or 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Optional garnishes: diced avocado, extra cilantro, thinly sliced radishes, tortilla chips…

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, celery and carrot and a light sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetable are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.

  2. Stir in the garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the beans and broth and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, until the broth is flavorful and the beans are very tender, about 30 minutes.

  3. Puree about 4 cups of the soup in a blender until smooth (beware the steam that escapes from the top of the blender, it’s very hot). Return the pureed soup to the pot, stir in the cilantro, vinegar/lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.

 

CHICKEN AND PASTA SOUP

 

Ingredients

  • 4 carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 4 long strips lemon zest

  • 4 sprigs fresh dill, plus 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup small pasta, such as pastina

  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

  • 1/2 bunch fresh spinach, stemmed

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 4 ounces feta cheese

  • Lemon wedges and crusty bread, for serving (optional)

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Directions

Combine the carrots, lemon zest, dill sprigs, olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Season the chicken with salt and add to the cooker. Add the broth and 4 cups water, cover and cook on low, about 8 hours.

About 20 minutes before serving, add the pasta to the slow cooker, cover and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir the chopped dill, peas and spinach into the soup and cover until the spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Stir to break up the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and crumble the feta on top. Serve with lemon and bread, if desired.

Photograph by Antonis Achilleos

Courtesy Food Network Magazine

 

CARROT GINGER SOUP

Print

  • Prep time: 15 minutes

  • Cook time: 30 minutes

  • Yield: Serves 4-5

I think this soup works best when it is puréed until perfectly smooth. This is best achieved using an upright blender. If you use an immersion blender, just keep working at it until the soup is as smooth as you can make it.

We use chicken stock in this recipe, but you can easily use vegetable stock for a vegetarian option.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots (6-7 large carrots), peeled and sliced thin

  • 2 cups chopped white or yellow onion

  • Salt

  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger

  • 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock

  • 2 cups water

  • 3 large strips of zest from an orange

  • Chopped chives, parsley, dill or fennel for garnish

MethodShow Photos

1 Sauté onions and carrots: Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat and cook the onions and carrot, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, about 5 to 8 minutes. Do not let the onions or carrots brown. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over the carrots and onions as they cook.

2 Add stock and water, ginger, and strips of orange zest. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the carrots soften, about 20 minutes.

3 Remove the strips of orange zest and discard.

4 Purée soup: Working in small batches, pour the soup into a blender and purée until completely smooth. Only fill the blender bowl a third full with the hot liquid and keep one hand pressing down on the cap of the blender to keep it from popping off.

Add more salt to taste.  (You will need more salt if you are using homemade unsalted stock or unsalted butter.)

Garnish with chopped chives, parsley, or fennel fronds.

ROASTED APPLE AND WINTER SQUASH SOUP

Serves 4

 

3 pounds winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 medium sweet-tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered

2 large cloves garlic, peeled

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

4 cups unsalted vegetable broth

Garnish

1 medium sweet-tart apple

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large bowl, combine the squash, apples, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, rosemary, thyme, and allspice. Spread the vegetables/fruit on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Roast, turning once, until tender, about 40 minutes.

Puree the roasted vegetables/fruit with the vegetable broth. If using an immersion blender, this may be done in a large pot. If using a food processor, this may be done in batches, transferring the puree to a large pot as you go along.

Place the pot over medium heat and simmer until warmed through. If a thinner consistency is desired, add water or more broth. Taste and adjust seasonings.

To serve, garnish with thinly sliced or diced apples. (Sliced apples may be pan-fried in a little butter or olive oil until golden.)

 

SLOW COOKER TORTILLA SOUP
https://www.campbells.com/kitchen/recipes/slow-cooker-chicken-tortilla-soup/

 

Instant Pot Chili

Make this Easy Instant Pot Chili Recipe under an hour! Simple umami & spicy Pressure Cooker Beef & Beans Chili to satisfy your hearty comfort food cravings.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound - 1 ½ pound ground beef

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes

  • 2 cans (540ml/19oz) red kidney beans, drained & rinsed

  • 1 - 2 tablespoons (8g - 16g) chili powder (depends on your chili powder’s spiciness & preference)

  • 1 tablespoon (6g) cumin seed, ground

  • 1 teaspoon (1g) dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil

  • Optional: 1 tablespoon (15ml) apple cider vinegar

  • Brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper to taste

Umami Chicken Stock Mixture:

Optional Garnish:

  • Lime, Sour cream

  • Jalapeno pepper, diced and seeded

  • Green onions

  • Cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Pressure Cooker: Heat up your pressure cooker (Instant Pot: press Sauté button and Adjust once to Sauté More function) over medium high heat. Ensure your pot is as hot as it can be (Instant Pot: wait until indicator says HOT).

  2. Brown the Ground Beef: Season ground beef generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add 1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil in pressure cooker. Ensure to coat the oil over whole bottom of the pot.

  3. Add ground beef in pressure cooker. The ground beef will start to release moisture. At the 5-minute mark, remove the ground beef juice and reserve it in a small mixing bowl.

  4. Allow the ground beef to brown. Stir occasionally until they are slightly crisped and browned (~5 – 7 minutes). Taste and adjust the seasoning with more kosher salt and ground black pepper.

  5. Mix the Chicken Stock Mixture: While the ground beef is browning, mix 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock, 2 tbsp (30ml) fish sauce, 1 tbsp (15ml) light soy sauce, 3 tbsp (49g) tomato paste, and 1 tsp (2.5g) unsweetened cocoa powder in a 500ml measuring cup.

  6. Sauté Onion, Garlic and Spices: Add diced onions, minced garlic, 1 tbsp ground cumin seed, 2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp dried oregano. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the spices start to release their fragrance. Stir frequently.

  7. Deglaze: Pour in ½ cup (125ml) of the Umami Chicken Stock Mixture, fully deglaze the bottom of the pot by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits with a wooden spoon. Mix the brown bits with the stock mixture.

  8. Pressure Cook the Chili: Add in the reserved beef juice (from Step 2). Pour in the remaining Umami Chicken Stock Mixture. Add 2 cans of drained red kidney beans. Mix well. Pour in 1 can of crushed tomatoes with all the juice on top. Do not mix. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes + Natural Release. Open the lid carefully.

  9. Reduce and Season: If the chili is too runny, give it a quick stir and cook for another few minutes over medium heat (Instant Pot: Press Sauté button). Taste and season with brown sugar (we used 1 tbsp), kosher salt and black pepper.

  10. Optional: Add 1 tbsp of Apple cider vinegar. Note that the vinegar will significantly change the flavor profile.

  11. Serve: Garnish chili with optional ingredients. Serve over your favorite side dishes. Enjoy~

 

LEMON RICE AND CHICKEN SOUP

 

Prep Time

5 mins

Cook Time

25 mins

Total Time

30 mins

This Lemon Rice and Chicken Soup also known as Avgolemono is a classic Greek soup thickened with eggs, loaded with rice, chicken and flavored with lots of lemon.

Servings: 4 to 6

Calories: 355 kcal

Author: Joanna Cismaru

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 small onion chopped

  • 1 medium carrot chopped

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice *

  • juice of one lemon

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts shredded with 2 forks, skinless and boneless

  • 1/4 cup dill chopped

  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat then add the chopped onion and carrot and cook for about 5 minutes or just until the tender and the onion is translucent.

  2. Add the chicken broth and rice to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.

  3. Meanwhile in a small bowl beat the egg together with the juice from one lemon.

  4. Add chicken to the pot, then add about a ladle of the soup broth to the egg mixture and stir. Pour the egg mixture into the soup. You will notice the soup thickening up. Season with salt and pepper as needed and if you feel the soup needs more lemon, add more lemon juice as desired.

  5. Add the dill and cook for a couple more minutes before serving.

  6. To serve you could top this soup with some feta cheese and more dill.

Recipe Notes

* Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain rice.

 

I used 2 small cooked chicken breasts which I shredded with 2 forks, which should be about 2 cups of shredded chicken.

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.

 

NEW ORLEANS RED BEAN AND RICE

Ingredients

  1. 1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and picked through for stones

  2. 1/3 cup diced pancetta

  3. 1 large yellow onion, diced

  4. 3 celery stalks, chopped

  5. 1 green or red bell pepper, deseeded and diced

  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt

  7. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  8. pinch cayenne or a few dashes of Tony Chachere Seasoning

  9. 3 cloves garlic, minced

  10. 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

  11. 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, roughly chopped

  12. 1/2 pound cooked smoked sausage cut into 1-inch pieces

  13. about 10 cups chicken stock

  14. 2 bay leaves

  15. 6 cups cooked white rice

  16. chopped green onions, garnish

Instructions

  1. Place clean dried beans in a medium pot and cover with room temperature water. Allow to soak overnight before making the beans.

  2. If you don't have time to soak the beans overnight, don't fret. Place the clean dried beans in a medium pot and cover with room temperature water. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the beans boil, cover, remove from heat, and allow to soak for 1 hour. Carry on with the recipe.

  3. In a large soup pot over medium heat, cook pancetta until very well crisp, about 6 minutes.

  4. Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper and cook until vegetables are very well done, about 8 minutes.

  5. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne or Tony Chachere Seasoning and stir to combine.

  6. Stir in the garlic, parsley, thyme, and sliced sausage. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until the sausage is well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently.

  7. Add the softened beans to the pot, the stock, and bay leaves. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 2 hours, uncovered, until the beans are well softened.

  8. Taste and season with more salt or pepper.

  9. For a slightly smoother consistency, blend about 1/3 of bean and sausage mixture in a blender or food processor and return to the pot. This way, some of the beans will be ground smooth and some will be kept whole, creating a really lovely consistency. You can also smooth out some of the beans by mashing them against the side of the pan once they're softened, but I like the bender method best.

  10. Serve beans with white rice and a hearty garish of green onions.

 

HALF HOUR VEGGIE CHILI

 

Print

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped

  • 1 carrot, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, choped

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 28-ounce can plus one 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped, with juices

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed

  • ½ cup cooked quinoa

  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt for garnish

  • ⅓ cup chopped green onion for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, chili powder to taste and cumin. Cook, stirring often, until the onions, bell pepper, and carrot are soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

  2. Add tomatoes with their juices and salt; cook for 5 minutes over high heat. Reduce heat to low; stir in beans and cooked quinoa. Simmer until the chili is thickened, about 15 minutes.

  3. Garnish with yogurt and green onion, if desired.

 

TWO LEEK & TWO GARLIC

 

2 leeks

2 whole garlic bulbs

1L chicken stock (instructions below)

650g potato (around 4 medium sized)

100ml cream, plus more to garnish

1 tbs butter

Olive oil

Salt

A few slices of prosciutto (optional)

Chicken stock (makes twice as much as you need, around 2L)

1kg chicken wings (around 10)

2½ L water

2 large onions

3 sprigs thyme

2 bay leaves

10 peppercorns

2 tbs salt

For the stock (can be made a day ahead)

1. Cut onions in half leaving the skin on. Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to the boil. For the next 15 minutes skim the scum that rises to the top with a ladle. Once it has cleared, turn down heat to a lower setting, pop on the lid and allow to simmer for 4 hours.

2. Strain chicken, onions and aromatics from the liquid. This stock can be kept in fridge or freezer until ready for use.

For the soup

1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Remove the ‘tops’ of the bulbs of garlic with a horizontal slice so that the cloves inside are exposed. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in aluminium foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove, allow to cool and, with a firm hold of the base of the bulb, squeeze the soft, caramelised garlic into a small bowl. If you want to use prosciutto as a garnish, place the slices on a tray and bake for 10 minutes.

2. Remove the tops, or the darkest green leaves from the leeks. Slice the stalks in half and wash well (because leeks have many layers  there may be plenty of dirt and soil in there). Finely chop into small pieces.

3. Peel potatoes and roughly chop into 2cm cubes.

4. Heat butter and a drizzle of olive oil in a large pot. Add chopped leeks and stir until softened, around 10 minutes. Add the litre of stock, the cubed potatoes, the soft garlic and a teaspoon of salt. Combine, bring to the boil then reduce heat to medium. Cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables have softened significantly.

5. (The burn mark on my hand says be wary of this step!) In batches, pour the soup into a blender and process until smooth. Alternatively use a stick blender straight in the pot. Return to the pot on low heat and add cream.

 

GINGER-CHICKEN SOUP

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can also calm an upset stomach. We love the heat it adds to this chicken soup recipe.

Ingredients

8 Servings

  • 1 onion, sliced

  • 2 celery stalks, chopped

  • 8 ounces unpeeled scrubbed ginger, cut into ½-inch-thick slices

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 10 whole black peppercorns

  • 1 3-pound whole organic chicken, cut into 7 pieces (2 breasts, 2 legs with thighs attached, 2 wings, 1 back)

  • Kosher salt

  • Cilantro leaves (optional)

Preparation

Combine onion, celery, ginger, garlic, and peppercorns in a large heavy pot. Add chicken, placing breasts on top. Add 6 quarts water (preferably filtered or spring water); bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover with lid slightly ajar. Reduce heat to low; simmer until chicken breasts are just cooked through, about 30 minutes. Transfer chicken breasts to a plate; let cool, then cover and chill. Continue to simmer soup, uncovered, until broth is fully flavored, about 2 ½ hours longer. Return breasts to soup to rewarm, about 5 minutes.

Remove chicken from broth. When cool enough to handle, coarsely shred meat; discard skin and bones. Place a fine-mesh sieve over another large pot; strain broth, discarding solids in strainer (you should have about 8 cups broth). Season with salt.

Rewarm soup. Divide chicken among bowls. Pour hot broth over, dividing equally. Garnish soup with cilantro leaves, if desired.

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