Chicken Soup with Kale
A full-bodied chicken stock is indispensable for making soup. This version yields both enough stock and meat for this simple soup as well as 2 others.
Storage tip: To store the stock, let it cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Before using the stock, skim the fat from the surface. The stock will keep in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. The chicken meat will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
For the chicken stock:
- 1 chicken, about 3 1/2 lb., quartered
- 2 yellow onions, quartered
- 2 small leeks, white and pale green parts, halved, rinsed and coarsely chopped
- 4 celery stalks, quartered
- 4 carrots, quartered
- 6 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 10 peppercorns
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Simmer the stock
Put the chicken in a stockpot and add water to cover by 1 1/2 inches. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and skim any foam from the surface. Add the onions, leeks, celery, carrots, parsley, thyme, peppercorns and salt. Return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour.
Reserve the chicken
Transfer the chicken to a platter and let cool slightly. Remove the meat, reserving the skin and bones. Reserve 2 cups of the meat and refrigerate the rest for another recipe (see note above).
Return the skin and bones to the pot and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Pour the contents of the pot through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing down on the solids to extract the flavor, and discard the solids.
Finish the soup
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 6 cups of the stock and the potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the kale and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the reserved chicken and heat through, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4; makes about 4 1/2 quarts stock total.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Soup, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2006).