Sicilian chicken soup
Chicken soup has legendary restorative powers, and this is the soup to eat when you aren’t feeling your best. Instead of the egg noodles that an American mom might use, Grace always added little pasta tubes or broken long pasta to her soup. She also used a tough old
stewing hen, but a large chicken is a good stand in.
Portions: Makes 8 to 12 servings
Put the whole chicken, onion, celery, carrots, bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and their juices in a large soup pot and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over
high heat, skimming off the foam that rises to the surface. Add the parsley, garlic, and 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.Reduce the heat to medium-low. Partially cover the pot and simmer until the chicken is falling off the bones, about 2 hours. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a large bowl and let cool for about 20 minutes. Keep the soup in the pot simmering. Remove the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones, taking care not to mangle the meat and keeping it in neat pieces. Tear or pull the boned chicken into large bitesized pieces. (We prefer hand-pulled chicken to chopped chunks). Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add salt to taste. Add the ditalini and cook according to the package directions until tender. Drain well. Using a large slotted spoon or a potato masher, mash some of the potatoes in the pot to lightly thicken the broth. Add the chicken and pasta to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot. Do not add uncooked pasta to soup, or it will soak up too much broth during cooking, and make the soup very thick.