Tissues, PJ’s, and SOUP

13 Nov

It’s that time of year again…cold and flu season.  Time for tissues, PJ’s and SOUP.  For the past two weeks, both girls have been fighting a bad cold.  One day they are feeling good, the next it’s back to runny noses and horrible coughs all night.  Just when you think they are getting better it’s back.  This weekend, my husband and the girls were all sick and now I feel it coming on.  What a better way to spend the weekend then to curl up on the couch to watch TV and movies and stay in PJ’s and sweat pants all day while making soup.

Last night, we decided to return to our Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian cookbook to make Italian Wedding soup.  We got a late start so my husband and daughter only made the chicken stock and we made the rest of the soup today.

Before you start, here are some tips to include your child in preparing the meal:

  • Let them help you chop veggies.  My daughter used her Nuk Kiddy Cutlery knife.  My husband chopped everything but gave her a few ingredients to “chop” on her own.
  • Let them put the ingredients in the pot.
  • Have them stir occasionally and set a timer to remind them to come back and check on the broth/ soup with you.
  • Let them grate the cheese or if they are too young, let them sprinkle the cheese on.
Helpful Hints:
  • Whenever doing a cooking activity, especially near a stove or when using a sharp object, make sure you are supervising your child.
  • My girls only ate the broth and meatballs. If you know your child doesn’t like certain textures take out the veggies from their bowl, leaving the broth and meatballs.
  • It takes a while so make the broth the day before or buy stock from your local grocery store.  We made both recipes while our younger daughter was sleeping.
There is nothing like a bowl of soup to help comfort you when you are sick.  If you try this, I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did.

Chicken Stock: Makes about 3 qt (3 l)  

Ingredients:

  • 5lb (2.5kg) chicken backs and necks
  • 1 leek, including about 6 inches (15 cm) of the green tops, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stock, coarsely chopped
  • 12 fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley stems
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 8-10 black pepper corns
Directions:
  1. In a stockpot, combine the chicken parts, leek, carrots, celery, parsley, thyme, and peppercorns.
  2. Add cold water to cover by 1 inch (2.5 cm).
  3. Place the pot over medium-high heat and slowly bringing almost to a boil.  Using a large spoon, skim off any scum and froth from the surface.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered, skimming the surface as needed and adding more water if necessary, to keep the ingredients immersed, until the meat has fallen of the bones and the stock is fragrant and flavorful, about 3 hours.
  4. Remove the heat and let stand until the liquid is almost room temperature, about 1 hour.
  5. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, lift out large solids and discard.
  6. Pour stock through a large mesh sleeve into a storage container with a tight-fitting lid, and discard the solids from the sleeve.
  7. Let the stock cool at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until fully chilled.  Using a spoon, lift off the congealed fat on top and discard.  Store the stock in the refrigerator (up to 5 days) or freezer (up to 2 months).
Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007)
* This broth would also be great for a chicken noodle soup, just add cooked egg noodles, sauteed onion, celery and carrot, and a rotisserie chicken, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Wedding Soup RecipeWilliams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007)
  
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