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Nana's Italian Chicken Soup

Submitted by: Michele, Norwalk, CT, This is comfort food!

Number of servings: 6

Ingredients:
1 whole soup chicken (hen) between 5 & 7 lbs.
8 Carrots
1 Large Onion
5 Celery stalks with leaves
1 Can of stewed tomatoes or 3/4 cup of left over marinara sauce
6 sprigs of Italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 box of small bow tie pasta
Grated Parmesan Cheese




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Directions:
Wash chicken with cold water. Rub with salt and rinse again. Place in the bottom of the pot. Cover the chicken with cold water. The water should be 2 inches higher than the chicken resting on the bottom of the pot.
Place on the stove top with a medium to high flame.

Clean carrots cutting only two into pieces. Put all the carrots in the pot. Clean the celery and add to the pot. Clean the onion, cut in half and add to the pot. Add the tomatoes or marinara. Rinse the parsley and add to the pot.

Cover and bring to a boil.

When the soup reaches a boil, lower the flame to bring the soup to a constant simmer. Uncover a bit, leaving a little room for steam to escape.

Stir occasionally.

This will cook like this for approximately 2 - 3 hours.

About 1 hour into cooking, add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir. Taste occasionally and add salt to taste.

The soup will take on an orange color from the carrots and tomatoes.

Taste. The carrots and other vegetables should be completely cooked through as well as the chicken. This will be about 2 hours in.

At this point, take all the vegetables out including the parsley and place in a bowl. Remove all the chicken from the broth. Put aside.

Bring the broth to a low boil and continue to cook down.

In a blender, puree all the vegetables together except for the pieces of carrots you may have cut. You may have to add some broth to the blender.

Add all the pureed vegetables to the broth and stir. Continue to cook down for another 1/2 hour.

Turn the soup off and let sit for 1/2 hour.
In a separate pot, add enough broth to cook the pasta. Do not cook the pasta in water.

Bring the broth to a boil and cook the pasta.

When the pasta is done, add to bowls (individual amounts according to desire) and top with the chicken soup.

Serve with Parmesan cheese on the table to sprinkle on top.

Mangia!

Additional Info:
This recipe is perfect to cook on a Fall or Winter day. Also exceptional when fighting a cold. This is comfort food! Our very large Italian family made this soup for every holiday and it was served as first course with my Nana watching over every bit of cooking! This is her recipe that she brought with her from Sicily. She came to the US in 1915 and went through Ellis Island where her name is engraved on the marble wall there. Through the years, it became the first meal to have when my children were sick, and it helped hurry along their recovery! When it snowed heavily enough to cancel school, my children would expect to find this soup for dinner. The aroma of the soup cooking all afternoon made them run to the dinner table!