Sometimes the best recipes stem from only what is stocked in the fridge at the moment. You know, when it gets bare and you can’t bring yourself to do another weekly shop. As my kids are growing it seems I am constantly running out of food! So we barely have leftovers, but I do have staple ingredients lying around. Garlic, ginger root, onions, carrots, celery, fresh herbs, always cilantro and basil. In the pantry, canned beans, tomatoes, chicken bone broth and veggie broth stock the shelves. That way when I am in a pinch, I can easily throw something in a pot and walk away, while I to tend to the chaos of after school activities. Inspired by the classic the many leftovers in the fridge after hosting our first “classic” thanksgiving meal a beautiful hearty soup was born.
Leftover Chicken Soup Recipe
2 cooked Cornish Hens (or 1 fully roasted chicken)
2 sweet onions
4 celery stalks
2 carrots (I used my roasted carrots from the night before!)
2 cloves garlic
Fresh Ginger (about half the size of your pinky finger)
2 - 16 oz chicken bone broth (free range organic is my preference, I like Pacific Brand or you can make your own stock) White wine (you actually like to drink, I love Sauvignon blanc)
2 cans of cannellini beans (eden brand is great, they pressure cook and Soak them, so they are great on your digestive system)
2 -3 cups of fully cooked mixed potatoes, Japanese sweet, white, red… you get it! (roasted from night before, or boiled then add them to the pot, don’t add raw potatoes to your soup, it will soak up all your broth)
1 bay leaf
fresh oregano, thyme leaves, sage, rosemary
Fresh ground pepper
Other things you may need:
Olive Oil, or avocado oil for frying your veg
1 large stock pot, with wide bottom (Dutch oven work great too)
1 wooden spoon
First chop all your onions, carrots, celery, place in one bowl set aside. Take two garlic cloves with the peel on, place one on your board and with your knife smash down, take off the peel and set aside the garlic. Repeat.
Place your stock pot on the stove, turn on the stove to medium-high heat add in your Avocado oil, when its good and hot add in your onion carrots and celery mixture to the stock pot. Then add in salt and pepper to taste, (small amounts at a time here if you aren’t experienced). Add in your whole garlic. Then Add in ½ cup of wine while the pot is good and hot, then bring the stove down to medium heat. Cook until the onions are clear, then add in both smashed garlic cloves. While that is making magic, roughly chop your herbs and add those to the pot. If things are good and cooked, turn the heat to low.
TIP: Be sure to stir your saute every few min so it will not burn, I like to feel things out when cooking, smell also helps so be sure to use your senses as a guide in the process!
Pull apart the chicken meat and bones, add them to the pot, and set aside the carcass for other use or discard altogether.
Open your cannellini beans, thoroughly rinse and drain beans and put them in the pot. Add in the fully cooked potatoes from last night's roast, ( or pre boiled potatoes). Cut about 1 inch long of fresh ginger root, toss this into the pot whole. Add in your Bay leaf as well.
Give everything a good stir, turn your heat up to high, now it’s time to to add in the bone broth to the stock pot. Let it boil for 5 min on high, when you see it bubbling, give it a good stir and bring your heat down to low and let simmer for min of 45 min - 12 hours depending on when you will be eating. The longer it sits the more time the flavors have to melt into each other. After the 45 min on low heat, you can taste if it needs more herbs, salt or pepper.
Serve with crusty bread and salad to make a glorious dinner!