Granny's Best Chicken Soup
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Remember that old platitude about chicken soup being good for the soul? It may have suffered from overuse by canned soup companies, but there really is nothing like hot homemade chicken soup to warm the spirit. From the freshly made chicken stock to the mashed mix of vegetables, this soup is a pot of traditional flavors that have survived the passage of time. Feed your next group with Granny’s Best Chicken Soup, and they’ll be talking about it for generations to come.
4 quarts cold water
1 4- to 5-pound chicken, quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 to 5 stems parsley
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Measure water into a large soup pot and add all the ingredients. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, then immediately reduce the heat and simmer for 3 hours, using a spoon to frequently skim the soup as well as possible. Remove from heat and cool. Skim fat from the surface and strain the soup. Wash out the soup pot and return the strained stock to the pot.
Remove and discard bay leaf and parsley. Mash the carrots, celery, and garlic and stir them into the soup. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken, chop the meat and add to the soup. (If the chicken meat has completely fallen apart, that's ok, too; just use as is, with bones removed.) Heat and season to taste with additional salt and pepper.