Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Chicken and Stars Soup

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I can remember when I was a little girl that you used to be able to buy a soup at the grocery store called Chicken With Stars Soup.   We did not get a lot of store bought soups when I was a girl.  My mother could make a delicious and much tastier soup from almost anything, so bought soup in our house was a real rarity.    
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 A roast dinner of any kind on a Sunday usually meant that sometime during the week we would be having a nice big pot of homemade soup, and we all looked forward to it with great pleasure  . . .  if we had had ham, it would be ham and pea soup, turkey . . . turkey soup.    

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Beef meant a nice pot of Beef and vegetable soup.   A roast chicken always something like chicken and vegetable or chicken noodle or chicken with rice.   We never did have chicken with stars though . . . but I always wished that we would.       

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I spied some Stellini Pasta (tiny star shaped pasta)  in the shops the other day and picked it up.  I thought it was about time I fulfilled my wish and made myself a pot of Chicken with Stars Soup.  After all I am 58 years old now and I'm not getting any younger!  Sometimes you have to feed your inner child!   

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It's not that difficult to make a homemade pot of soup.  It requires very little effort and the rewards are bountiful.   It tastes so much better than anything that comes from a tin.  I am afraid that after you taste this, you will be spoilt from ever wanting to have tinned chicken soup again!    

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Of course when it was done it was just begging for some type of pretty garnish and so I baked some star shaped garlic croutons to float on the top.  They dressed it up just nicely.  I was a happy girl and Todd was a happy boy.  You can never go wrong with a tasty pot of homemade soup.  

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*Chicken With Stars Soup*
Serves 4-6
Printable Recipe

This is a very simple and easy soup to make.  I often use the carcass from a roast chicken to make this, saving some chicken from the roast to use as wl.   As I always cut up chickens myself to use in other recipes, I usually always have bags of chicken backs and necks in the freezer as well, which are very good when used in this soup!   Its amazing what you can do with a few bones and some vegetables!

1 spent chicken carcass (if there is not a lot of meat left on the carcass you can add a few chicken wings or a leg)
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1 carrot, unpeeled and cut in half
1 stalk of celery
Handful of celery leaves
1 onion, unpeeled, cut in half, root end removed
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper

To finish:
1 carrot peeled and grated
¼ of a swede peeled and grated (rutabaga)
1/2 mug full of Stelline Pasta (star shaped pasta, about 1/2 cup, or more as desired)

Put your chicken carcass in a pot and cover with boiling water. Add the bay leaf, thyme, carrot, celery, celery leaves, onion and salt and pepper. Bring back to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 ½ hours to 2 hours. Strain broth into a clean pot. Discard vegetables and pick off as much meat as you can from off of the bones. Cut into small chunks. Bring broth to a boil and reduce somewhat. Taste and adjust seasoning. (If it is not very strong you can add a TBS or two of Marigold vegetable stock powder, but it really shouldn‘t be necessary.)

Add the grated vegetables and the Stelline pasta.  Bring to the boil and then reduce to low and simmer for about 15 minutes until cooked. Add the diced chicken meat. Heat through and then ladle into hot bowls. Serve with some nice crusty bread or rolls.  

Note:  I like to make star shaped croutons for a garnish sometimes.  Just cut your desired bread into star shapes with a sharp cutter, Toss with some herbs and olive oil.  (I like to use parsley, garlic, salt, pepper)  Then toast in a hot oven for 5 to 8 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

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