Make This / Buy That: Chicken Soup / Handmade Bowl

by Nina Myers McCammon

Last winter I was sick. Constantly. Ironically, my two-year-old son was not, but for me, the very act of stepping foot in his school rendered my immune system powerless. It seemed like whatever toddler bugs were lurking in those narrow hallways clung to me as soon as I arrived in the hopes of making it out of the building alive, and they didn't loosen their grip until the sun came out for good in like mid-June. (Hyperbolic, yes, but I still haven't gotten over my irrational anger towards last winter!) Out of desperation one sniffly winter afternoon, I called my mother and begged her to share her chicken soup recipe with me, which was really her mother's, which was really...well, you get it. Of course she recited it from memory. The pasta soaks up so much of the liquid that by the next morning it has essentially become a hearty stew. A stoup, if you will. And the cayenne kicks it up a notch. It's an event. It may not be beautiful but it works. And what good is soup without a bowl? These handmade in America options would be such an attractive complement to a soup that, let's be honest, is more "function than fashion." They're neutral with a fun twist, whether it's a pop of color, a pinched rim, or a cute message for kids like, "Don't miss the bus" from In Her Words Ceramics. Enjoy and feel good!

Clockwise from top left: 1. Melissa Maya Pottery; 2. Dishes With Soul; 3. Julia Paul Pottery;  4. Revisions Design; 5. In Her Words Ceramics; 6. Pigeon Toe Ceramics; 7. BTW Ceramics; 8. Clam Lab; 9. Fisheye Brooklyn.

50 SoS Hearty Chicken Soup

4 to 5 lb roasting chicken
1 32 oz. box of chicken stock
3/4 lb pasta (I like radiatore, shown)
1 large onion chopped
1 medium turnip chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
4 carrots chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1.5 cups parsley chopped (reserve 1/2 cup for the end)
3 tbsp thyme chopped (reserve 1 tbsp for the end)
3 tbsp dill chopped (reserve 1 tbsp for the end)
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of cayenne

In a very large pot, sautée onion in 2-4 tbsp of olive oil until translucent, then add garlic for 1 minute followed by the turnips, carrots, and celery. Cook the veggie mixture for a few minutes, then add the chicken, stock, herbs, and seasonings. Add as much water as necessary to fully cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for an hour.

When the chicken is done, remove it with tongs onto a baking sheet, tray, or cutting board with a lip (the lip is important because there is a lot of liquid). Then bring the soup back up to a boil and add the pasta to the pot. 

While the pasta is cooking, remove the skin from the chicken and cut or shred the breast and thigh meat. After the pasta done, add the meat to the soup and add the reserved herbs, which gives the soup all those pretty, fresh flecks of green.

Serve hot with a hunk of good bread.