Chicken Soup with Chickpeas
- 3-pound whole chicken, giblets reserved for another use
- 3 carrots, cut into thirds
- 3 ribs celery, cut into thirds
- 1 large yellow onion, quartered
- 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into thick rounds
- 3 ribs celery, trimmed and diced
- 1 tablespoon paprika (you can supplement this with a little smoked paprika for smoky undertones)
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
- 1/2 cup elbow macaroni
- 5 ounces baby spinach or Lacinato kale
- Salt and pepper to taste
Make the broth:
- Place chicken in a large stockpot and cover with water by about 1–2 inches. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and season liberally with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1–2 hours. Skim off any foam or scum from the top as it cooks.
- Using tongs, remove the chicken from the pot and transfer it to a bowl.
- Return the stock to a low boil (rapid simmer) for 20 minutes to reduce it further. It will deepen in color.
Prepare the chicken:
- Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Pick the meat from the bones and shred or cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Reserve carcass for another use. Set the meat aside.
Strain the broth:
- Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Discard the solids. Wipe out the pot and return it to the stove.
Cook the soup:
- Heat the neutral oil in the pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for 5–7 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and crushed red pepper. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Return the chicken to the pot and add the chickpeas.
- Pour in the prepared broth. You should have enough to cover the ingredients in the pot fully. Supplement it with water if needed. Taste and season once more.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes or until the carrots are almost fork-tender.
Finish the soup:
- Bring the soup back to a boil. Add the elbow macaroni to the soup (note: you can cook it separately if you don’t like pasta swelling). Cook for 8–10 minutes until pasta is al dente.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in spinach. Let simmer for 3–4 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Ladle soup into bowls and enjoy!