Is there anything more comforting to the soul than savory, perfectly seasoned chicken soup? The key to a strong broth is plenty of chicken bones, which are rich in collagen and add flavor and substance in a way that pure boneless chicken cannot. Wings and drumsticks are used in this soup. The thigh meat becomes very tender during cooking before it is torn into pieces and returned to the soup. As you will notice, there are no carrots in the soup. Turnips and prunes replace them and bring the sweet and tangy note.
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For 4 to 6 people you will need these vegetables: 2 stalks of leeks, 2 bulbs of whole garlic, plus 5 cloves of garlic, 6 stalks of celery, 2 turnips or parsnips with a medium stem (625 grams), and 3 large sprigs of thyme. There are also four whole chicken drumsticks (a total of one kilogram) and one kilogram of chicken wings. From the pantry comes salt, a tablespoon of whole black peppercorns, plus ground pepper, eight prunes and two tablespoons of olive oil.
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To prepare the broth, four Season the 1 pound chicken thighs and chicken wings with 4 teaspoons of salt and place them in a large saucepan. Two leeks are cut in half lengthwise. Separate the dark green part from the light part and put the light part aside for now, that will come later. Thoroughly wash the dark leaves and remove the sand. Cut two bulbs of garlic in half widthwise. Cut four stalks of celery into 5cm lengths (keep the leaves aside for garnish). Cut a fall turnip (peel is not necessary) into five-centimeter wedges. Add all the vegetables to the pan with the chicken, along with a tablespoon of peppercorns, two prunes, a sprig of thyme and a tablespoon of salt.
Pour in about three liters of water, bring to the boil and adjust the heat so that the water only simmers gently. Simmer the broth, uncovered, for about an hour, occasionally skimming the foam that forms on the surface with a slotted spoon to keep the broth clear and not cloudy.
Prepare the remaining vegetables: Two Cut the celery stalks into slices. Cut five peeled garlic cloves into slices. Cut the white part of the leek diagonally into pieces about four centimeters long. Cut a fall turnip into quarters and cut the quarters crosswise into pieces about six millimeters thick. Break six prunes into three pieces each. Pick the leaves from two sprigs of thyme.
Shred the chicken: Using tongs, remove the chicken thighs from the broth and place them on a plate to cool. Let the broth continue to simmer (the longer it is, the stronger it will be). Remove the cooled meat from the bones and tear it into pieces, discarding the skin. Return the bones to the broth to add flavor.
Finishing the soup: the last steps before you can taste it
While the broth simmers, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, garlic and prunes, season with salt and plenty of black pepper and sauté, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until the leeks soften and gradually fall apart. Pour in about 180 milliliters of broth and cook for another 10 to 12 minutes, until the vegetables are tender but not browned. Strain the broth directly into the Dutch oven. Discard chicken wings, bones, skin and vegetables.
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Add shredded thigh meat, chopped turnips, thyme and celery and cook over medium-high heat until vegetables are just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season the soup with salt – this can probably take a long time.
To serve: Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with black pepper and garnish with celery leaves.
This recipe is taken from the cookbook: “Just cook it! Recipes for cooking again and again” by Molly Baz, published by Knesebeck-Verlag, €32.