Wednesday, April 22, 2015

lemon chicken soup with spaghetti

Over the past ten days, we have made three different kinds of chicken soup.

We've made them all to help cure a dreadful cough that's kept us up at night and breaking into hacking fits during the day. Oh, and because chicken soup tastes good.

This is soup number two. (I might also tell you about soup number three soon.)

I've been making it for at least five years now, ever since I saw Giada waxing on about it in her pretty way while I was on a plane to Toronto. I'd never seen Giada before, and the recipe struck me so much that I bought her cookbook when I got home again. For this soup alone, the book is worth it.

While I believe in the power of chicken bones in broth, I also get tired and lazy when I have the plague. Giada calls for a rotisserie chicken, which  if you can brave going to the grocery store while you're having a coughing fit at the very busiest time of day  makes it dead easy. (Just pack a couple cough candies for the trip.)

We usually shred half the chicken for this soup, and shred the other half for the freezer to ponder for a future meal. Otherwise, it's simple. I added the step of frying the onion, carrot and celery because I think it helps the soup come together better, but after that, all you do is add broth and lemon juice, and eventually cook some broken-up spaghetti.

It might seem odd to top a chicken soup with parmesan cheese, but  trust me  it is lovely and salty against the freshness of the lemon in the soup. Altogether: very pleasing and welcome at this invalid's dinner table.

one year ago: spicy salmon broth
two years ago: stinging nettle soup
three years ago: paska and zeppelin pancakes
four years ago: gumdrop cookies
five years ago: butterscotch pudding and chocolate cheesecake

lemon chicken soup with spaghetti
adapted from Giada at Home by Giada di Laurentiis

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, finely diced

2 big carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
 10 c. chicken broth

1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1 bay leaf
1 c. broken spaghetti* (1  2 inch pieces)
2 c. cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded or diced
1/4 c. parsley, chopped
salt to taste
1 c. parmesan or asiago cheese, grated finely

Heat a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Melt the oil and butter. Add the onion, carrot and celery and fry until somewhat softened and the onions are glossy and starting to look clear, about 10 minutes. Stir every so often.

Add the broth, lemon juice and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer until the vegetables are tender, 10  15 minutes. Add the spaghetti and cook until the noodles are cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Add the chicken and heat through. Stir the parsley in. Taste for salt, knowing you will also add salty cheese to your bowls of soup soon.

Ladle into bowls, and let everyone top their bowl with a good helping of cheese. Eat!

*We use gluten-free corn spaghetti by La Veneziane

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