Monday, December 31, 2012

Grandmothers Italian Chicken Soup - easy chicken soup recipe

Grandma's Chicken Soup
Grandma's Chicken Soup

My grandma made this easy chicken soup recipe.   She called it Italian Chicken Soup, which was good enough for me, as a kid.    It was quite simple…    Chicken meat, chicken broth, possibly some chopped carrots and some orzo pasta, or rice…

When serving it, we would sprinkle a spoonful of grated Parmesan cheese on top.  It would melt, stick to your spoon, but it would taste so great!!!

Usually, she would use some leftover chicken meat for the soup. At times, she might resort to using a can of swanson canned chicken, if she didn’t have leftover chicken and really wanted some soup.   As she was getting on in years, her eyesight started to go.   One day, when I was sick, she mistakenly used a can of tuna, instead of chicken.   She wanted to give me something hot, to deal with the flu I was suffering with.   

Now, being sick, I knew my tastes buds were off, but, I knew something was wrong.   Especially since I can’t stand tuna fish!   So, I said, hey Grandma! Something is wrong with this soup!   She said let me look at the can… Oh, it’s tuna instead of chicken!   Eat it anyway!   Oh my goodness, it was so nasty…  So, the moral of the story:  Don’t mistake tuna for chicken….

Needless to say, other than that one time, her chicken soup was something I truly looked forward to.   These days, I make my own version, based on her soup.

Here is what I do:

I go to the market and buy two or three rotisserie chickens.   The family will eat one for dinner.   I will remove the meat from the remaining chickens and put it in the refrigerator.   All of the bones and skin, I put in a big pot and fill it with water.

I then boil it for a few hours to make a broth.   After boiling, I pour out the liquid and strain it into a few containers and let cool.  Then, I refrigerate the broth over night.

The next day, the fat will rise to the top of the broth and solidify.   I remove the fat.  Now, I have a gallon or more of homemade chicken broth. 

That is how I make my broth.   Really simple, but takes some time.    You can choose to buy already made broth, if you want, and sometimes I do.  But, if you have the time, you can’t beat this broth.

When I want to make the soup, I chop up some carrots and put them in the pot with the broth.    I also cut up some of that left over rotisserie chicken and put it in the pot as well.

Next, I add some spices.  Thyme is excellent.  I always add some minced garlic. Sometimes, I add chopped leeks.

Simmer it for about a half hour or more, depending on how soft you want your carrots.    Add the orzo, and simmer for another 15 minutes…

Salt to taste!  This is the beauty of making the broth yourself.  You can tailor the salt to your liking.

Ladle out into a bowl and sprinkle with some grated parmesan cheese.


I hope you enjoyed making my version of Grandma’s chicken soup.   It brings back memories for me every time I eat it.    If you wish to can the soup, don’t put in the orzo pasta.  Pressure can it without any pasta.   You can add the pasta when you are heating it up, to eat.    

This is an Authentic Italian Recipe that I hope you will try!

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