The days are turning colder and colder as we settle into our long Michigan winters. They start a little early around here, but we've managed to escape the snow..for now. I've been been trying to come up with ways to keep our home warm and inviting. And so I've begun a soup journey to learn the art of making soup. I love soup, I could eat it every day for every meal. My first soups when I first married, which was almost 4 years ago now, mostly tasted like salty water. Well I'm still learning but I've come a long way from that first giant pot of salty chicken vegetable water. I've learned that simplicity is key, and time and waiting is absolutely necessary. So now I start a day ahead of time, you can even start a couple days ahead of time. I would categorize the soup that I've most recently made as a harvest soup with potatoes(yes it does matter what kind of potatoes you use, I like yukon gold), sweet potatoes, carrots, and a slow cooked chicken stock. So I'll call my soup Vegetable Harvest Soup, no it's not vegatarian.
You will need:
5 pieces of bacon
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
4 chicken thighs, you can use any pieces of chicken with bone and skin
5 potatoes, yukon gold, or other yellow potato with thin skin
1 sweet potato
salt and pepper to taste
First you cook 4 or 5 pieces of bacon, eat bacon, or whenever you cook bacon for breakfast reserve the drippings. Chop onion and carrots, saute in bacon drippings until onions are transluscent and carrots start to soften, add garlic saute for another minute or so then add chicken and enough water to cover. Bring to boil, then turn heat on low, lightly simmer chicken and veggies for up to 12 hours. Do not heavily boil or your broth will have an off flavor.After it reaches a boiling point, I turn it down as low as it will go and leave it all day checking once in awhile to add more water as necessary. Remove bones after 10-12 hours, ladle of excess fat and grease. Day two, bring soup back to a boil and add diced potatoes and sweet potatoes, you can also add more carrots at this point. Lightly boil until veggies are softened. Add salt a pepper to taste, if you leave soup on low heat the potatoes and sweet potatoes will break down and thicken the soup.
One thing I love about soup is you can make it your own, whatever you have on hand you can throw in, you can also stretch out the soup and add more veggies and water as it gets eaten up. Yesterday I boiled extra potatoes, carrots, and a sweet potato in salted water and added it (water used to cook veggies too) to the little bit of soup left and it was still as just as tasty.
This blog is inspired by Lonna's recent blog posts about whats on your families dinner menu, so here is what we've been having the last few days. I haven't put much thought about our menu for the days to come, maybe you could help me out on that one. What's on your menu this week?