Stone Soup with Chicken

Leftover chicken, leftover brown rice, leftover whole wheat spaghetti…well, the pasta will have to be used for something else, but I just made a great soup with a bunch of leftovers.

From a chicken carcass to finished soup took just a bit more than an hour, but that is because the time included making the stock.  If I had used stock from my freezer or a can/box, it would have been under 20 minutes.

If you are making your own stock, start by puitting  the water in the pressure cooker (or stock pot if you are going to do a longer simmer) and turn on the burner. That way, you get a head start bringing everything to pressure (or to a simmer).  Also, if you are using anything from the freezer, pop them into the microwave to defrost a bit if you want to save additional time.

[NOTE:  you can start with frozen everything – bone/carcass and veggies if you are not pressed for time.  However, the pressure cooker could take 30 minutes to come to pressure if using items directly from the freezer.]

This time, I used the chicken carcass from the French Chicken in a Pot I made a few days back.  First, I put 7 cups of water in the pressure cooker and turned the burner on high.  Then, I picked off all of the meat that was easy to remove, leaving the rest to pick off after the “second cooking.”  Then, along with the bones, I tossed in a carrot, a small stalk of celery, a bay leaf, 6-8 peppercorns, 1/2 an onion, and a crushed garlic clove.  I let it cook 25 minute once to pressure and then turned off the burner, letting the pressure come down naturally.  [Note: if in a hurry, you can bring the pressure down quickly by putting the pot under cold running water.]

Once I strained the stock and picked the test of the meat off the bones, I brought the stock to a simmer in a pot.  Here is where you can add whatever strikes your fancy.  Basically, you want to add any seasonings that simmering will bring out first.  Then, once to a simmer, add raw rice  or noodles, if using, before adding the veggie or veggies that take longer to cook.  Then,  add the veggies that cook more quickly, then anything already cooked once the all the former are tender.  The final step is to season to taste.

Today, I started with a de-seeded and sliced up a  salsa chili pepper (we have a bunch growing in our bedroom) that was red and starting to wrinkle and then added a few veggies once the stock was simmering,  in this case, the last carrot and last chunk of daikon radish in my fridge, both sliced thinly.  Once they got soft, I added chopped fresh parsley and about a cup of snow peas that I discovered, just in time, in my vegetable bin. Last, I added my leftover cooked rice and  cooked chicken from teh carcass, as well as the meat I got off both the turkey neck and chicken neck  that I used to make stock the other day for the Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup.

The final touch was a bunch of freshly ground black pepper and a tablespoon of tamari, just to round the flavor out.    Oh no!  I forgot to take pictures and we already had lunch – two servings each so there is not much left:

Not much was left!

My final advice – try the French Chicken in a Pot recipe, too!  Someday I’ll post about it, but you can link to it above.