Ok – now that we’ve sufficiently recovered from Slumming It, we’ve moved back into more…well, elegant food.
We got up today, and it was snowing. Yuck. This called for soup. So, we made a Turkish chicken and root veggie soup. It is a very nice, slightly sweet soup, kept under control by a good shot of fresh lemon juice. It is probably one of the top two or three soups I’ve ever had, and it beats the heck out of chicken/noodle or chicken/dumplings anyday of the week. Its a wonderful winter soup, and the fresh bright lemon makes it very hopeful, predictive of things to come in spring.
Ingredients (These are approximations, exact amounts aren’t a big deal, if you’re happy, we’re happy – and I think people often get hung up on exact amounts way too much in soups)
6 cups of chicken stock (or broth, I’ve never made this with canned, always fresh stock, but it would work. If you’ve never made chicken stock, I’d strongly suggest Alton Brown’s stock recipe, which is what we use).
2 large carrots
2 large parsnips
1 spanish (yellow) onion, about baseball sized,
2 cloves of garlic,
1 celeriac (celery root) about baseball sized
4 3-inch-ish white potatos, peeled
Sprig of Italian flat leaf parsley
approx 1lb of chicken breast meat
1/2 stick of butter
Lemons as needed, sliced to squeeze/drop in bowls of soup.
Flour, around a quarter of a cup.
Dice all veggies except garlic, parsley and leeks in about 1/2″ to 3/4″ pieces. Do the same with the chicken. Mince the garlic very finely. Use only the white/green part of the leeks up to the joint area. To clean leeks (they will be dirty and sandy), cut the root end off, and the joint/leaf end as well, then split the leak down the center and open it up, rinsing it under running water. slice the leeks very finely.
In a good sized stockpot, sautee the onion and garlic in the butter, over medium heat until they turn soft. Add the rest of the veggies except for the parsley. Add the chicken. Sprinkle the flour over the contents of the pot and stir it well. Now add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce and let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Mince the parseley finely and add it a few minutes before serving the soup.
Season to taste with salt and pepper to taste.
When ready to serve, ladle the soup into soup bowls, and add a good squeeze of lemon juice from a lemon wedge and stir it into the soup. The wedge can be left in the soup bowl so that the broth can pull some of the essential oils out of the zest.
This is a wonderful meal with some nice crusty French style bread. Despite being made of up root veggies, its not nearly as heavy as a pure potato type soup would be. I highly recommend this.