When we purchase a rotisserie chicken for a quick meal on a busy evening, we just hack away at it until all that’s left is a not very promising looking carcass. If you’re the same, wrap that precious carcass in tinfoil and place it in your fridge – you’re going to have soup soon!
That terrible looking carcass is going to be the basis of some lovely stock. Just chuck that carcass into a pot and cover it with cold water. Bring it to a simmer and after about an hour, you’ll have a wonderful chicken stock suitable for soup. You could simmer for longer but the bare minimum needed for a decent soup is about 30 minutes (so I’ve found – it will already smell and taste wonderful). For more flavour, toss in a few chunks of onion and carrot, straining them out towards the end of the simmering.
I’m terribly lazy and so opted to make the soup directly as the stock was simmering away. Along with the carcass, I added a few black peppercorns, a bay leaf, one chopped onion, one chopped carrot, and one chopped stalk of celery. After about 40 minutes, the carcass was starting to break apart and so I fished it out onto my chopping board. When it was cool enough to handle, I picked off all the meat, shredded it and then added it back to the soup. I then added a few shredded leaves of Brussel sprout tops (substitute green cabbage) and let that simmer away until they soften. Just before serving, I tossed in a large handful of thin vermicelli pasta strands and let that cook for 4 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste, as usual.
A bowlful of homemade soup with a bit of baguette warmed in the oven is just perfect, especially with the lingering colds that seem to be affecting everybody!