Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mama Mondola's Chicken Soup

I hope all of you had a fabulous Christmas and New Years! As one of my new years goals I have decided to eat less sugar. For me this means that for the month of January I have decided to cut out all cane sugar from my diet. In case you haven't noticed my dessert section is my largest section on this blog. That is because I LOVE desserts. I would say almost all of them contain cane sugar. This is going to be a fun challenge for me. I'm not saying I won't post desserts. I will just have to be more creative in using honey, agave, and xylitol.

Well to start off this no sugar month I decided to post this delicious soup. One of my husband's and my favorite restaurants is Carrabbas. My husband always gets this soup. It is hearty and full of flavor. He decided a while back that he wanted to make it. We have made it a few times since then and absolutely love it. This is a big recipe so be prepared. We honestly didn't have a pot big enough to hold the whole soup so we used less (a lot less) water. The flavor is still amazing it is just slightly more like a stew than a soup.

From Carrabba's
Makes 1 1/2 Gallons

5 celery ribs
4 medium carrots, peeled
1 large yellow onion
2 medium potatoes, peeled
1 large green bell pepper
1(14-ounce) can imported Italian plum tomatoes
1(5-pound) hen, washed and cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 quarts water (for soup) or 6-8 cups water for stew
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dice celery, carrots, onion, potatoes and bell pepper into 1/4-inch pieces. Chop tomatoes; reserve all juice.

Place vegetables, tomatoes with their juice, chicken pieces, parsley and garlic in a 10-quart stockpot. Add water. Season with salt and pepper. This can also be done in a crock pot (my personal preference)

Slowly bring soup to a boil over low heat. Skim off foam that rises to the surface; may have to skim 2 or 3 times. Partially cover pot and simmer 2 hours.

When soup is finished, remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. Let cool.

Meanwhile, mash vegetables in the bottom of the pot with the back side of a large cooking spoon or a potato masher.

When chicken has cooled enough to handle, remove skin and bones and return meat to soup.

Notes: Soup is best served the day after it is made. Refrigerate and remove fat that solidifies on the surface of the soup. Serve soup with rice or small, stubby pasta such as pastina, tubetti or small elbow macaroni. For better flavor, cook the rice or pasta in the soup when reheating. Add freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, if desired.

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