Have you found yourself gazing into the ‘fridge helplessly wondering what to fix for dinner? I was in that spot a few days ago. It was a few more days until my next planned “provisioning” trip. I really didn’t want to make a stop at the store. Inside my refrigerator was a partial roasted chicken which I had served earlier in the week with a few of the roasted vegetables that went with it. I didn’t want to serve the dreaded leftovers. Then inspiration hit! I would make soup! After all, Jacques Pepin, the world famous chef, always made soup out of his leftovers. If it was good enough for him, it is surely good enough for the likes of me!
First, we make a really good broth. You can put this in the crock pot if you are a little pressed for time and let it cook while you take care of business. Make sure you have the bones, they give the broth a deep, meaty flavor.
Spicy lemon chicken soup
1 roasted chicken, skin, bones and any juices
2 bay leaves
1 onion, quartered
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon, quartered
1-½ quarts water to cover chicken
1. Simmer on low heat for at least 1½ hours.
2. Remove the chicken and let it cool enough to handle. Discard the lemon and bay leaves. When the chicken is cool, remove the meat. Put it back into the slow cooker with the broth. Discard the bones. Bring the broth to a boil.
3. Go back to the fridge and scavenge for veggies. I found a baked potato in a take-out box, some zucchini and summer squash left from another dinner and half of a butternut squash that I had cubed and boiled. Good stuff! You may have a bell pepper, or some carrots, beans or celery. Chop those up a little (bite-size pieces) and throw them in.
4. Now that you have broth, protein and veggies, it’s time to spice it up. I wanted a spicy, lemony soup. I added a teaspoon of turmeric, a teaspoon of ground cumin, half a teaspoon of garlic powder, half a teaspoon of ginger and a teaspoon of curry powder. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a couple of drops of hot sauce. I also squeezed another lemon into my soup.
Now, if you are watching carbs, your soup is done. If you want a real hearty, stick-to-your ribs soup, add a cup of cooked rice to the pot. Heat it all through, and there you have it — supper.