Winter Greens and Chicken Soup
Makes 4 Servings
This soup is one of those recipes that just came together and turned out to be delicious.
Looking in the freezer for a loaf of bread, I discovered a package of 6 skinless chicken thighs that needed to be used, so to save time, I quickly poached them for about 15 minutes in a large skillet, with thyme, onion, basil and a little salt. I poured it all into a zip lock bag, put it in the refrigerator and left for the day.
That evening, I picked out some winter greens including a renegade purple kale plant I found in the garden, and decided to use some of the chicken for pasta with Puttanesca Sauce. I planned to save the stock and remaining chicken thighs for another day.
I noticed that the poaching stock was jelled which meant that the stock contained a fair amount of protein. Good sign. When I tasted it I was stunned at its rich, intense flavor, better than any I had made in a long time. Was that because the chicken was poached in shallow water instead of boiled in a deep pot? Mystery.
I used half the chicken for the pasta and put the rest back in the bag with the stock and refrigerated it until the next day when I made this soup.
4 skinless chicken thighs, poached with yellow onion, 1 tsp. dried thyme, 1 tsp. dried basil
3 cups poaching liquid (remove and chop onions, then return them to the stock)
4 cups chicken stock, homemade or commercial
3 cups cleaned, torn winter greens of at least 2 varieties (curly kale, purple kale, mustard
3+ oz. dried wide (1/2″) fettucini or another shape of your choice
1 1/2-2 tbs. white wine vinegar
2 tbs. extra virgin Italian olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup coarsely grated aged Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, room temperature
- Slice or cut the chicken into bite size strips. Add to the stock. Set aside.
- Bring the 2nd stock to a low boil and add the greens. Cook until they are soft enough to eat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the greens to the first stock.
- Return the 2nd stock to a steady boil and add the pasta. Cook until done, 11-12 minutes.
- Combine the soup stock and pasta stock in a pot. Add olive oil, heat to a simmer and taste. Add the vinegar and a little salt and pepper. Taste. Add more salt if necessary, keeping in mind that the cheese will add more salt taste.
To Serve: Ladle soup into 4 warmed soup bowls. Divide cheese over each serving and serve immediately.