Someone’s got to eat the end of the root vegetables. Or heck, maybe you’ve just gotten some out of the ground that have been growing over the winter. You’re my hero. Here’s your answer, nonetheless, a silky, salty, garlicky chicken soup full of big hunks of soft, starchy root vegetables.
Now that it’s getting warmer out I’m starting to regret my decision to get bangs. The other day was like 62 and they felt like a a sheet of plastic on my face. Sweaty plastic. I’m not sure headbands will work so well for the mid day workouts I like to do during my work days, lest I look like I have a drawbridge on my forehead. And please, I’m not washing my hair in the middle of the day. Who do you think I am?
But really, it’s not too late for a hot soup full of root veggies, trust me. It’s just enough to enjoy a last hurrah before you’ll be struggling to stomach any more peas and ramps (damn you New Englanders) and baby artichokes and little microgreens and radishes covered in butter and flaky sea salt. Hard to imagine actually, but I’m sure I’ll fondly remember eating this soup on a rare cloudy day here in Denver when it’s summer and I haven’t not seen the sun in like 45 days and can only dream of the idea that eating something hot sounds good. I might also fondly remember this snow storm we’re supposed to get on Tuesday. My poor little newly planted seeds.
Not to be too repetitive, but this soup mimics the preparation of my other chicken soup post. It does so because it’s foolproof. Simmered chicken in an aromatic-heavy broth, strained, shredded, and then simmered with a host of vegetables. Adding in a big beef, veal, or lamb bone would add depth and thickness to the broth. Additional spices are welcome, though they definitely make it feel a little more wintery – allspice berries, cloves, anise seeds, etc. To start you can use just water, or you can use a mix of chicken broth you might already have and water. I used maybe a quart of chicken broth and then for the remaining amount of liquid needed to cover the chicken I used water.
root vegetable chicken soup
chicken broth and water
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 bunch parsley, stems coarsely chopped
1 onion, halved, no need to peel
1 leek, halved lengthwise, chopped widthwise, and rinsed – green tops reserved
3 – 4 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped on the diagonal
4 – 5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped on the diagonal
1/2 celery root, peeled and roughly chopped
3 turnips, peeled and roughy chopped
1. Place the chicken in a large soup pot and cover with chicken broth and water or just water. Add salt, peppercorns, parsley stems, halved onion, and leek tops. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
2. Remove the chicken and place in a bowl to cool slightly. Strain the broth, pressing the solids to get their liquid.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the broth in the pot. Pick the chicken carcass clean and add all the meat and skin to the pot. You can reserve the skin and fry it up for a snack or a soup topping if you want.
4. Cover and bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to low to and simmer for another 1 1/2 hours until all vegetables are tender.
Serve with additional parsley and that fried chicken skin if you opted for it.