Whenever I'm sick, before I reach for the tissues or cold medication, I go straight to the freezer to see if I have any of this soup left. If I don't, I start to make it ASAP. It's another one of my Gran's recipes, she's truly my biggest cooking inspiration. This soup was always in her fridge once the weather started to cool down. I call it her Magic Soup cause this soup can cure any cold almost over night. I don't know what it is, maybe it's the chicken, maybe it's the veggies, or maybe it's just the idea that it's magic, but whenever I've been sick and had this soup I'm better the next day.
With Thanksgiving this past weekend, I found myself with a rather large turkey carcass and a whole lot of leftover turkey so I seized the opportunity to make my own stock for a big batch of soup.
Stock is really easy to make. Take your bones and put them in a big pot and cover with water. You need some flavours to add depth to the stock so the next thing to add would be Mirepoix, also known as the Holy Trinity of cooking: carrots, onion and celery. No need to dice or be fussy with this, just a rough couple of chops is good. I was preparing the veggies for my soup at the same time so I also threw in the skins of the onion and carrots and the base of the celery, you're not eating them, they're just for flavour and will be strained out later. I also like to throw in a lemon or two to brighten up the stock. The last thing to add would be your herbs. Salt and pepper along with bay leaves, thyme and anything else you like can go in. Simmer the stock for a couple of hours to get all the flavour out of the bones, veggies and herbs.
Cool down your stock and strain it to removes all the bones, skin, and cooked veggies and then let it sit (you can even do this overnight in the fridge) and skim off the fat that rises to the top. And voilà, your very own homemade stock, perfect for Magic Soup!
4 c. chopped chicken or turkey, cooked
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 tbsp. butter
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 c. small pasta (I use pasta stars but any will do)
1/2 c. short grain rice
8-10 c. of water or stock
salt & pepper to taste
1. Melt the butter in a large pot and sautée to onion, celery and carrots for a few minutes.
2. Add the chicken and continue to sautée for 2 minutes.
3. Add stock or water.
4. Add the tomatoes (with juice), pasta and rice.
5. Cover and bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to low and allow to simmer until pasta and rice are cooked.
Enjoy right away or freeze in small batches for when you really need it!
*Note, my grandma was never a stickler for a recipe with this soup, she threw in whatever she had, cabbage, beans, macaroni, peas, etc... let your pantry be your guide!