Chicken Vegetable Soup with Tiny Pasta
This hearty soup is chock full of vegetables and chicken. Pastina, Italian for 'tiny dough', refers to any small pasta shape such as orzo.
2 pounds chicken drumsticks and thighs
3 medium carrots, peeled - divided use
1 medium onion, quartered
1 celery rib, cut into 4 pieces
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
10 whole peppercorns
2 whole cloves
9 cups water
2 pounds Swiss chard
1/2 cup pastina, (tiny pasta such as orzo or acini di peppe)
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Remove skin from drumsticks and thighs; discard skin.
- Take one of the carrots and cut into quarters. Place in a large pot with the chicken, onion, celery and salt. Tie bay leaves, peppercorns and cloves in a small piece of cheesecloth and add to pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 1 1/4 hours, or until chicken is tender.
- While the chicken cooks, chop remaining 2 carrots into 1/2-inch dice. Discard stems of chard and cut leaves crosswise into 3-inch strips. Set aside.
- Strain contents of pot; reserving stock (pour back into empty pot). Discard herb-filled cheesecloth. Purée vegetables in a blender and return to stock.
- When cool enough to handle, shred chicken and set aside.
- Bring stock and vegetable purée to a gentle boil. Add reserved chopped carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in chard and cook for 5 more minutes. Add pastina and zucchini and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in reserved chicken. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.
Makes 8 servings.