Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Chicken Soup with Vegetables and Mini Pasta Shells

In my current craze of slow roasting, yesterday I decided to slow roast a chicken.  I placed it in a roasting pan, poured a cup or so of water around it, added herbs, a cut up lemon, juniper berries, salt, pepper and cumin, covered it with aluminum foil and put it in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.  Well, it sort of poached/roasted - but it was the tenderest chicken I've EVER cooked.  The Jack Russell and I tore through a leg and thigh and just as we were starting on the second leg we remembered we needed the meat for the soup.  It was falling off the bone tender.  I'm ALWAYS going to poach/roast my chickens from now on.

Of course use whatever type of pasta your heart desires, or rice, or barley, pretty much anything will work.  I would advise keeping the pasta separate from the broth until you're ready to serve, otherwise the pasta swells and rather overpowers the soup.

Chicken Soup with Vegetables and Mini Pasta Shells.

For the chicken.

1 4lb (ish) chicken
2 lemons
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 bunch of fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary and parsley tied together
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of juniper berries
1 cup of water.

For the soup.

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 leeks, thoroughly washed and finely chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
salt and pepper
pinch of cumin
a hearty shake of Worcestershire sauce
32 oz of chicken broth
1 cup of frozen peas

1 packet of mini pasta shells.

Heat the oven to 325 F

Place the chicken in a roasting pan, rub it thoroughly with olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin, stuff it with a cup up lemon.

Pour a cup of water around the chicken, add the other cut up lemon, herbs and juniper berries to the water.

Cover the bird with aluminum foil fairly tightly and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile make the soup.

In a large pan heat the olive oil, add the chopped onion and saute for a good 8 minutes or so, just don't let them burn.

Add the garlic, saute for a further 2 minutes, then add the leeks, potatoes, carrots, salt and pepper, cumin and Worcestershire sauce.  Stir well and add the broth.

Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and partially cover until all the veggies are well cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the oven, allow to cool slightly.  Tear off the flesh. It will looks something like this.

Cook the pasta shells, toss in a tiny bit of olive oil, salt and pepper so they don't stick together and reserve.

Add the frozen peas to the soup, they will cook through themselves, along with the chicken.  Add the a grinding of black pepper, a sprinkling of fresh parsley and the pasta just before serving.  Offer Parmesan if you wish.


  1. you make me hungry!!!!! Hope you are healing well, thats a lovely bowl of soup!

  2. Lovely hearty soup, Mary.
    I must really try that slow roast/poaching method. I just adore soups in the winter!

  3. You have done a great service to mankind today with the poaching of the poulet and the absence of the slow cooker. I don't know how much good chicken soup will do for your foot, but your soul is now warm.

  4. mmm yum that chicken sounds perfect and the soup wonderful!

  5. This does look good and I like the flavoring of the juniper berries with the chicken.

  6. Beautiful! Really, really beautiful!

  7. Mary,
    Your soup looks perfect for a winter's night meal to warm your body and soul. I like your slow-roasting method. I made chicken noodle soup for my neighbor that has the flu. I didn't have the time to slow roast the chicken, but maybe next time.

  8. I would like a bowl of this yummy soup right now. Somehow we ended up at McDonald's and had a cheeseburger. Oh for a bowl of soup. Tomorrow.

  9. Lovely lovely stuff. We have just been talking about cooking a chicken for a friend with a new baby, and your slow poaching/roasting method sounds like just the ticket. In fact, lots of your recipes would be ideal. Thanks!

  10. Thats a comforting bowl of soup... Would love to have it now...

  11. What a great roasted chicken recipe. I love how wonderful chicken smells when it is in the oven. The soup looks wonderful as well. Great to have on cold winter days.

  12. I've only poached a chicken twice in my life... and until now, forgot how tender it truly does get. And this soup is a perfect way to use it! I'm digging the mini pasta shells too!

  13. It's been a warm stretch of weather here lately, but I'm still craving soup - simply because it's the winter, I think! Always great to have another delicious chicken soup recipe on hand. Looks awesome - thank you!

  14. Your soup looks so hearty, and comforting! I have never poached a whole chicken before, going to have to try that for sure. I love fall off the bone tender meat of any kind.

  15. I love the addition of the juniper berries. I am sure that soup had a lovely flavor!

  16. I have two JR's so I have to share too. This really sounds amazing. I love that it is thick with chunky vegetables and a splash of pasta - delicious!

  17. Mary, this looks so homey and perfect for these chilly days. Love your idea for the chicken too. I'm not sure if I would have had any left to make soup!

  18. you know I just happen to have a whole chicken I was going to roast tomorrow...will try this poach roast! thanks.

  19. It is a great way to cook them. I generally remove the skin from poultry, so other than a couple of strips of bacon over the breast I also cook them slowly in foil, or on occasions pot roast. Happy New Year, Diane

  20. I'm a slow roasting kind of girl myself, Mary! Besides making the house smell wonderful, the taste is fabulous. Your soup looks scrumptious. I like keeping the pasta separate, too...I don't like the soggy texture.

  21. Hi Mary,

    I love slow cooking too for winter... but it is too hot in Australia now to slow roast anything *sweat sweat*...

    Nevertheless, chicken soup is always good for all seasons! Your looks wonderful with lots of vege!


  22. The smell of roasting chicken is one of the best in the world! This is the ultimate comfort to cure whatever ails you!

  23. I am now craving chicken soup BIG TIME! I will try your method of cooking the chicken, too!

  24. Wow. Call me crazy, but I have never made a soup. You have inspired me, it's still cold here. I need to make this!

  25. I am going to try your method next time I do chicken. I hope the new year is treating you well so far!

  26. A cooked chicken is such a handy food to have around. I will definitely try this way of roasting it; I usually do it with the breasts but never the whole chicken! That soup looks gorgeous Mary, so wholesome!

  27. Yummy,healthy and colorful!Happy new year,dear Mary!All the best to you and your lovely family!
    Many kisses from Greece!

  28. This is comfort food to the max! What a great soup.

  29. Looks like a comforting flavorful soup!

  30. I have never thought to add juniper berries to chicken. I always end up adding them to beef or venison as my mum did.

    Your soup looks delicious! I can't wait to try it!


Thanks for dropping in, I'd love to hear from you so do leave a comment!