This is my mom's chicken soup and it is the best! It is a bit time consuming, but the end results are so worth it.
Our neighbor was very sick with a bad cold and my oldest insisted I make soup for her again and again. So, I finally made a trip to the store for what I needed and made it. I made a huge pot, which made enough for a meal for my family, as well as enough for seconds for all of our neighbors family. Plus, there is another meal's worth in the freezer! I may be taking it out today as we have a cold going through our household.
We buy soup greens from the Amish store up in New York and use those in it. If you don't have soup greens, you will need to add some extra spices like onion and garlic powder for flavor. But I have made this without them dozens of times and it is still fabulous. Family recipe that won't disappoint!
- whole chicken, bone in skin on
- 10 carrots, divided
- 4-5 stalks celery, divided
- 2 large onions, divided
- 1/2 cup dried soup greens
- 2 cups Prego spaghetti sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb. orzo or rosa marina
Clean chicken, peel 5 carrots and chop in large chunks. Clean and chop 2 stalks celery in large chunks. chop 1 onion in large chunks. Place chicken and these veggies in large stock pot and cover with water. Add 1/3 cup dried soup greens and some salt. Bring to boil and let cook at low boil for 35-45 minutes, until legs begin to separate from chicken and chicken is cooked.
Meanwhile, clean and finely chop remaining veggies. (If you want a lot of broth, place in saucepan with couple cups of water and simmer until begins to get tender 10-15 minutes. Turn off and let sit.)
When chicken is done you can either pour through strainer with another stock pot underneath to catch broth, or I lift the chicken out with tongs and place in 9x13 (challenging) and use a small strainer to sift the chunked veggies out. Discard the chunked veggies.
Add the finely chopped veggies (and the veggie broth if opted for extra broth) and remaining soup greens if you have them in the big stock pan. Simmer lightly while cleaning chicken. Let the chicken sit for about 15-20 minutes until cool enough to handle. Pull the meat off chicken and tear into bite size pieces. Discard skin. (Put the bones in a saucepan with a few cups of water and let the simmer for about 20 minutes for extra flavorful broth to add to soup.)
After veggies are cooked, bring to a boil and add the Prego and pasta. Cook about 5 minutes and add chicken back in. Cook until pasta is done. Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, garlic powder and or onion powder if needed. (*hint, if it is flavorless, most likely you need some salt. Add in 1/2 tsp increments letting each sit for a few minutes before tasting, until good flavor. I usually leave a little salt needed so people can season to their individual taste.) Serve hot with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top and crackers or crusty bread.
Soup will be gelatinous after being refrigerated. It will turn liquid once heated. Freezes great!