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Papa’s favourite soup

(Yes, I spelled favourite like that on purpose)

I love this soup so much. It is extremely basic, but very yummy. It was also one of the things I knew I could never give up when I wanted to transition away from eating meat. Good thing I’m pretty flexible with all of that.

It is known as “Papa’s favourite” soup in my little family.  I honestly am not sure if it really was his favorite since I never got the opportunity to ask him about that. But based on how yummy it is, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.  I have so many memories of this soup. The one that sticks out the most is my Nana telling me it was ok for “only me” to slurp the broth up through the holes in the csiga. I guess that is one of the benefits of being the only female granddaughter.

The soup part of it is almost identical to making chicken broth, which is very easy and just requires a little bit of time.  The part that was always my “favourite” was the csiga noodles that came with it. Csiga noodles are a Hungarian noodle that my Nana, Aunt, Mom, and other family members have made before. I haven’t made them yet, but here it requires an extreme amount of time.  I might get to give them a try over my Christmas holiday. But, just in case I don’t, I found a place online that imports them from Hungary. I ordered 5 bags. Hopefully they taste similar to the homemade ones that my family is familiar with.  I found them on the Bende website here: Csiga 

Anyway, the temperatures recently dropped this weekend in Dallas, so I decided to make up a batch of the soup. It is great for freezing and is always nice to have on hand. Unfortunately I didn’t have an csiga, so I settled for some noodles I found at Whole Foods. They actually were really nice as well, very dumpling like, but thin.  If you haven’t made your own chicken broth before, I really recommend it. It warms you up inside and is healthy!

Papa’s Favourite Soup

1 whole chicken (cut up)
1.5 onions
5 stalks celery
4 garlic cloves
1 Kohlarabi
4 bay leaves
4 or 5 carrots
1 bunch Italian or soup parsley
Lots of water
2 cups chicken stock
Thyme
Salt and Pepper

On several roasting pans (I use two), arrange your chicken and onion, garlic, celery, and kohlarabi.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or so. 

Once chicken and veggies are roasted, add everything to a large stock pot.  Also add your bunch of parsley and bay leaves. Cover all the chicken and vegetables with water and chicken stock.  The water level should be slightly higher than all of the chicken and vegetables.  Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to simmer. Add in thyme, salt, and pepper. All of this is done to taste, so you can adjust later on. Let simmer for about two hours. Add in chopped carrots about 15 minutes before you remove from heat. Taste soup, adjust spices as necessary. You can also add in some chicken bouillon if there isn’t quite enough flavor. 

When soup is done simmering, remove chicken pieces and vegetables. It is easiest to pick out the large pieces with a spoon, and then run everything through a large colander.  Once strained, chop up a couple pieces of the chicken and add it back to the broth.  Let sit for several hours in the fridge; this will allow all the fat to come to the surface and harden.  Once this has happened, scoop off the top layer of fat.  Warm the broth and serve with noodles, dumplings, or csiga if you are lucky enough to have some.

Here is the soup in the middle of the cooking process with everything in there. 

It warmed up today in Dallas, but the temps are going to drop again this weekend. I will have to have round two of papa’s soup then. Enjoy!

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