Making Chicken Soup — Photos

This week’s cooking project from my collection of recipes is my recipe for chicken soup. Originally, I put together the recipe to make soup on one of the occasions I did so for the coffee and social hour at my church (a different kind of soup from the vegetable soup I initially, and usually, make on such occasions), hence a volume of eight quarts; normally at home, I make four quarts of this soup. However, today I decided I would make the full eight quart recipe and test out how well it freezes, never having tried to freeze this soup before. (Update 20210407: I have since made another eight quarts of the soup, it having been gobbled up rather quickly, and for both batches, it froze and defrosted quite nicely.)

First, I emptied six 900ml boxes of store-bought chicken broth …

Six – 900mL boxes of chicken broth

… into my 16 quart stock pot:

Chicken broth transferred to a pot

Then, four pounds of chicken pieces …

Four pounds of chicken

… were placed into the chicken broth …

Chicken pieces placed in the chicken broth

… and brought to a boil:

Broth and chicken brought to a boil

While the broth and chicken were heating up and boiling for about 30 minutes, carrots were taken out (yes, these were a bit on the old side):

Carrots taken out

The carrots were cleaned and trimmed:

Cleaned and trimmed carrots

Then, they were quartered, length-wise:

Quartered carrots

… and then the carrots were chopped coarsely:

Chopped carrots

The chopped carrots were placed in a bowl, and put aside for later:

Chopped carrots in a bowl and put aside

Then, celery (a bit more than called for in my recipe) was taken out and cleaned:

Cleaned celery sticks

The celery stalks were trimmed:

Trimmed celery stalks

Then the celery stalks were were sliced lengthwise:

Celery stalks sliced lengthwise

… and then the celery stalks were chopped coarsely:

Chopping the celery

The chopped celery was placed in a bowl, and put aside for later:

Chopped celery in a bowl and put aside

About two pounds of onions were then taken out …

About two pounds of onions

… trimmed …

Trimmed onions

… quartered …

Quartered onions

… and chopped coarsely:

Chopped onions

The chopped onions were placed in a bowl, and put aside for later:

Chopped onions in a bowl and put aside

At this point, the chicken and broth had been boiling for about 30 minutes:

Cooked chicken after boiling for 30 minutes

… and the chicken pieces were taken out of the broth, and placed on a cutting board:

Cooked chicken taken out of the broth and placed on a cutting board

The heat under the broth was turned off for the time being, and the chicken put aside for a few moments to allow some cooling.

In the meantime, the chicken fat was skimmed off the top of the broth and placed in a fat separator:

Skimmed chicken fat in a fat separator

The soup fraction at the bottom was transferred back to the soup pot, and the fat was transferred to a bowl to solidify:

Liquid chicken fat transferred to a bowl

Should one not have a fat separator, the skimmed fat can be placed in a large bowl or pot, and ice can be added to more quickly solidify the fat, allowing for its easy removal so that the (now diluted) soup fraction underneath can be returned to the soup pot:

Ice added to the chicken fat to solidify it and recover the liquid soup underneath

Returning to the soup ingredients, I separated the somewhat cooled chicken meat …

Chicken meat separated from bones, skin, and cartilage

… from the bones, skin, and cartilage:

Bones, skin, and cartilage separated from the chicken meat

The bones, skin, and cartilage were wrapped up in paper along with the solidified chicken fat, and the trimmings from the carrots, celery, and onions, to be placed in my curbside brown box for pickup for municipal composting.

The chicken meat was placed back on the cleaned cutting board:

Chicken meat placed back on the cutting board

… and the chicken meat was chopped coarsely:

Coarsely chopped chicken

The chopped chicken was placed in a bowl, and put aside for later:

Chopped chicken

At this point, I started “assembling” the soup, by adding the chopped celery to the still-hot broth:

Adding chopped celery to the chicken broth

… then the chopped carrots:

Adding chopped carrots to the chicken broth

… then the chopped onions:

Adding chopped onions to the chicken broth

… and finally the chopped chicken meat:

Adding chopped chicken to the chicken broth

Given that the commercial broth purchased for today’s cooking had sufficient salt content for my liking, barely a shake of extra salt was added to the pot.

The soup was brought to a boil again, and boiled for another thirty minutes:

Soup boiling again

Here’s the soup after boiling all the ingredients together for thirty minutes:

Cooked chicken soup. Yummy!

The cooked chicken soup was transferred to ten used yoghurt containers for freezing, and two more slightly larger containers (on the right) to put in the fridge for supper later on in the day:

Ten containers of soup for freezing, and two more slightly larger containers for supper

The soup for supper was great, and the individual containers are already in the freezer for future eating.

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