Blue Ribbon Sicilian Chicken Soup
Makes 8 to 12 servings.
1 whole organic chicken, about 4 ½ pounds, giblets removed
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 celery ribs, cut into ¼-inch dice
3 carrots, cut into ¼-inch dice
3 green bell peppers, cored and cut into ¼-inch dice
3 medium organic baking potatoes, such as russet or Burbank, unpeeled and cut into ½-inch dice
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 garlic cloves, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 cup whole grain ditalini or other "soup pasta"
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 of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of white 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 bite-sized pieces. (Tip: I prefer hand-pulled chicken to chopped chunks)
Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add sea salt to taste. Add the ditalini and cook according to the package directions until tender. Drain well. (Tip: do not add uncooked pasta to the soup, or it will soak up too much broth during cooking and make the soup very thick.)
Use a large slotted spoon or a potato masher, mash some potatoes in the pot to lightly thicken the broth. Add the chicken and pasta to the pot. Season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve hot.
*Here is a link to the whole grain kamut ditalini pasta I like to use*