You usually don’t think longingly of soup during the summer—but I do! Especially when all kinds of fresh garden vegetables are available and the chicken carcasses are staking up like cordwood in the freezer.
The soup starts with making the broth with whatever poultry carcasses I have in the freezer. In this case, it is chicken bones from birds I cooked in one of my rotisseries. (I keep an eye out for chickens that are marked down at the grocery store. What I don’t cook on the day of purchase, I freeze for later.) My grocery store will also sell turkey and chicken necks and backs from time-to-time at a very low price. These are also great for making broth. Before we go further, I want to make clear that I only use bones that have NOT been on someone’s dinner plate or come into contact with anyone’s mouth. Some folks will tell you that the stock boils for an hour or more so it kills all germs—but I still think it is gross to slurp all over something then serve it to others. Enough said.
Once the broth is strained and returned to my large stock pot, I add vegetables that are in season in my garden. Right now I have onions, celery, zucchini squash, yellow crookneck squash, purple kohlrabi, parsley, tomatoes, green and wax beans, carrots, onions, and fava beans. The fava beans needed to be removed from their pods and the thick, outer seed coat on each bean removed. I scalded the shelled beans for 1 minute and cooled them in ice water to stop the cooking action. Then I slit the seed coat of each bean with a sharp paring knife and squirted those bad boys right out of their leather jackets. (I plan to make Persian rice with the next bunch that I pick.)
I simmer the soup until all the vegetables where soft, adding a bit of water to replace liquid lost to evaporation. The noodles, salt and pepper to taste, and a few chicken bouillon cubes if necessary. The noodles cooked in the broth thicken it a bit. I don’t care if the broth is not clear. I am only concerned with the flavor, which improves with each day it lasts.
A pot of soup like this will serve us one dinner and a number of lunches. It also freezes well, so we can enjoy it later if we wish. You will note that I didn’t give you an exact recipe for either the broth or the soup, because you make this soup with what you have on hand and in the quantity that you can manage with those ingredients.