Here are the ingredients to a simple soup that will always make you feel a little better.
4 chicken breasts / skin removed / boneless or bone in
1 large Spanish onion
4 celery stalks
4 medium carrots
4 red potatoes or 2 medium Yukon gold
one teaspoon of salt
Parsley for garnish or celery leaves
8 quarts of water
one large pasta pot (for your soup)
one smaller pot to cook your pasta
6 oz of pasta or Pastina any one you like
One 2 inch piece of Parmigiano Reggianno. The end, back piece, cleaned and trimmed. The back piece is harder (closest to the rind), and is just in the soup pot for added flavor.
Tonight I made Version number 1 with chicken breasts. A very small percentage of fat still remains on your chicken breast even if they are cleaned. It was what I had on hand. It still has wonderful flavor.
Bring your cleaned vegetables to a boil. Add salt to the pot. Once the vegetables are boiling, add your chicken pieces and your piece of Parmigiano. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 hours. Your chicken will cook, come apart in your soup. Discard any bones you see. I like to strain my soup in a separate pot reserving as many chicken pieces in a separate plate. Set the chicken aside and shred. Break 6 oz of spaghetti in tiny pieces. Bring 4 cups of your broth to a boil and cook your pasta in your broth. Cook till just under al dente as your pasta will continue to cook in your hot soup. Shred some chicken over the top of your soup. Serve hot in large soup bowls. You may add a sprinkle of grated Parmgiano Reggianno if you like.
I learned this trick from a fabulous cook years ago on Public Television here in the States. We have had great debates over it with my mother who insists there is only one way to make this soup. I must admit, it works very well as it intensifies the color and flavor of your broth.
One roasting pan
Place an 8qt pasta pot filled with water on the stove to boil.
Follow the above recipe ingredients
Place your vegetable under the oven broiler for 5 minutes. Be careful your vegetables and chicken does not burn. You just want a golden color.
Place your vegetables, chicken and all the juices from your roasting pan into your pot. Bring to a simmer. Add your 2 inch piece of Parmigiano and let simmer for 3 hours. Try either method and see which one you like. Follow the above directions and serve.