Have you tried my recently published chicken broth recipe yet? If you’re asking yourself what to do with all that leftover meat, here’s the boring but obvious answer: Make some chicken soup for dinner.
Of course, there are many other and more creative ways to use up leftover meat. And I’m going to introduce you to some of them soon, but for today I want to show you how to prepare this evergreen dish.
Adapt the soup to your taste
With a great chicken broth on hand, there’s no reason to make this dish a complicated affair.
Sweat some vegetables in butter, add the chicken stock, cook the vegetables until tender, then add the shredded meat and noodles. Done.
Quality broth speaks for itself, so there’s no need to manipulate the flavor profile by using tons of spices.
The vegetables I add to my chicken soup are carrots, parsley roots, and peas. These three are considered classics in German cuisine but feel free to add your personal touch to the recipe by adding your favorite vegetables.
If you can’t source parsley roots, for example, you could substitute parsnips, which despite looking the same have a different flavor profile that also works incredibly well in this recipe.
If you’ve got some celery stalks left, throw them in. Leeks, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, or spinach: There’s no limit to your imagination. Just make sure you don’t turn your veggies into mush.
Hard vegetables should be precooked inside the broth for about 5 minutes before the soft vegetables get added in 2-3 minutes before finishing the soup.
Tips for seasoning the soup
In case you’ve made your own broth according to my recipe, the soup should still be completely unsalted by the time the vegetables are tender. So remember to be quite generous with the salt when seasoning the soup to taste. Neither the broth, chicken nor the vegetables have seen any salt yet.
For the best taste, use non-iodized natural sea salt. Iodized salt tastes slightly metallic and you don’t want to impart that irony taste into your soup.
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You’ve never thought about which kind of salt to use in your soups? It’s about time to do so. Get started by experimenting with natural sea salt. I bet you will instantly taste the difference. My favorite go-to sea salt is unprocessed Celtic sea salt. You can purchase it from Amazon:
Adding acid to your food is always a good idea. The squeeze of lemon juice at the end brightens up the flavor of the soup, so don’t skip that. As a substitute, you could use some white wine vinegar. Be aware that vinegar is much more acidic than lemon juice, so start by adding a small amount of vinegar, about 1/2 teaspoon at a time.
Serving the soup
It’s best to cook your soup noodles while the vegetables are simmering inside the broth.
If you’re using dried noodles simply prepare them according to the package instructions in a separate pot. Fresh noodles only need to be blanched in boiling water for about 30 seconds before serving to warm them through. In case you’d like to go the extra mile and make your own soup noodles, check out my previously published recipe.
Soup noodles typically contain semolina flour. That way they remain a firm bite while soaking up the broth. My homemade version is egg-free, but you can also buy soup noodles prepared with eggs.
The chicken meat doesn’t need to be reheated separately. It’s enough to divide it between the individual soup bowls and ladle the hot broth on top. That way the meat will get warmed through while cooling down the broth to serving temperature.