Every time you spatchcock a chicken, bone a chicken thigh or cut off the tips of chicken wings. You are gathering material to make chicken stock and soup. The same goes for chicken and turkey carcasses after carving. Just boil them up with some onions, celery, carrots and herbs.
Yesterday, I went to my freezer and found out I was out of home made soup! An impossible state of affairs going into the winter. So, I opened the fridge to see what I had.
I cut some red onion into short julienne, rough chopped some home grown garlic and chopped some trimmings from my home made back bacon that I keep in the fridge as sort of smoked lardons.
I had brought some green tomatoes indoors to ripen and had a few that were the last ones that were going to get red. They don't have as good a taste as outdoor ripened but they would give my soup a nice taste and texture. So, I blanched and skinned them. Then I cut them into a rough large chunk.
I nuked a couple of home made fresh garlic sausage just until they could be cut into discs.
I heated up some butter and cooked the onions just until they were sweating nicely and added the garlic.
I added the garlic and sautéed for a couple of minutes. Then I added the bacon trimmings and sautéed until the bacon started to colour the bottom of the pot.
I added the sausage and just gave it a couple of minutes to add some more colour to the pot.
While doing all this, I nuked one of my frozen containers of chicken stock to thaw. I added the thawed chicken stock, the other two containers of frozen chicken stock and the tomatoes into the pot, covered and kept over medium high heat.
While it was coming to a boil, I chopped some frozen beans from my garden.
When it reached a boil, I lowered the heat to simmer and added the beans, 1/2 teaspoon each of thyme, basil, rosemary and oregano (all dried). I also threw in 3/4 of a teaspoon of extra hot Cajun spice.
I let it simmer for 45 minutes and then added 1/2 cup of orzo pasta and let it simmer for 20 more minutes.
The finished product.
The verdict: This is wonderful soup with smoky undertones from the bacon trimmings, a nice broth texture from the tomatoes and nice chunks of sausage.
I rest my case. Don't throw out your chicken trimmings!