There’s something really satisfying about making my own chicken broth. It’s like a blank canvas that I can paint with any color I want and then hang for my own pleasure. I like knowing exactly what’s in it. Some people would call that control-freakish. I call it quality control!
I had two quarts of broth I’d made from poaching three batches of chicken breasts and froze after each poaching, so it was like super-chicken broth by the time I was ready to make soup. With thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, smashed garlic, and parsley stems in a drawstring cheesecloth bag as well as sliced carrot, celery, and an onion cut into eighths, I had the makings of an easy and basic chicken soup.
First I browned the carrot, celery, and onion in a bit of olive oil. Then I added my super-broth, the bag of herbs, and a teaspoon of soy sauce and let that all simmer over low for a while.
In the meantime, I made rice. My rice cooker takes about 20 minutes, plenty of time to chop the parsley leaves (remember, the stems went into the soup), cube a few of the chicken breasts I’d poached several days previously, and wash dishes. When the cooker dinged, I fluffed the rice and gave it another few minutes to let the residual heat cook it just past the al dente stage (because my people don’t eat al dente rice). Because the chicken meat was already cooked, I added it to the soup just to warm through right after I fluffed the rice. Five minutes later, it was ready to eat. All I had to do was scoop some rice into a bowl, ladle my chicken soup over it and finish with chopped parsley.
From start to finish, this soup took about 45 minutes and can be served with a grilled cheese sandwich or a salad. Feel free to omit the rice and substitute with egg noodles (cook the noodles separately and add it to smaller batches of soup so leftover soup doesn’t get all gross with bloated noodles). There’s nothing like homemade soup!