Comfort Food From The Verandas: Roasted Chicken Soup
Feeling generally blech? Fighting a head cold, or suffering through the flu? Whether you need a little comfort food, or you’re up next to take care of someone who is ailing, we suggest a huge pot of Chuck Pennington’s Roasted Chicken Soup. The key to the wonderful flavors is to cook each ingredient separately, rather then dumping everything into a stewpot.
Start with a 6-lb. roasting chicken. Rub with your favorite seasonings, put in a roasting pan, and roast at 425 for one hour, or until just done. You can also buy a grocery-roasted chicken as a quick short cut.
Cool, then remove the meat and combine with 5 quarts of high quality chicken stock in a large kettle. Use a really big one – this is going to make soup for 12 people. Add two Bay leaves.
Cut six large Yukon Gold potatoes into cubes and place in boiling water until almost done. Add to the chicken stock.
Saute 3 cups chopped onion, 3 cups chopped celery (lots of green tops is good), and one large clove of elephant garlic (sieved), in 1/2 stick of butter. You can use more butter if you want. Saute until all the vegetables are clear and tender. Add to the chicken stock.
Peel and chop six carrots. Boil until tender and then add to the chicken stock.
Saute 3 ears of corn – chopped into thirds – in the other 1/2 stick of butter until caramelized. You can cheat here, too, and use frozen corn. Add to the boiling chicken stock.
Boil gently until heated though. Serve hot with homemade cornbread.
This soup is better the next day, and freezes beautifully. It is also easy to cut this recipe in half, and save some of your roasted chicken for another use.
Visitors and locals alike opt to enjoy historic, luxurious accommodations in Wilmington NC at The Verandas, a Victorian Italianate Mansion. The 8500 square foot, 5 star, bed and breakfast inn is a convenient three blocks from the Cape Fear Riverwalk. Enjoy easy walking to partake of all Wilmington has to offer in history, Southern hospitality, top-rated cuisine, shopping, and the beaches of nearby Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Fort Fisher.
Chuck Pennington is proprietor of The Verandas Bed and Breakfast Inn in Wilmington NC. For more than 20 years he has been the consummate host, serving gourmet breakfasts to guests from around the world. His talents in the ultimate cook’s kitchen of The Verandas doesn’t stop with breakfast; he deftly produces desserts, hors d’oeuvres, and other delights.