It’s been a bit rainy here in New York. The seasons, they are a-changing, and there really seems to be nothing I can do about. That 90-degree weather is long gone, back behind Labor Day and blue skies and it can’t be called back, no matter how long I put off taking out the sweaters and scarves or insisting that there be just a couple more nights of grilled fare for dinner.
Needless to say, it’s a little depressing. I’m all for big hats and boots, hot chocolate and warm cookies and rainy days spent reading books and flipping through magazines, I could even get behind changing leaves and a little frost on the grass, but I’m not quite ready to say good bye to summer, to beaches, popsicles, and shorts. Real talk: I’m just not feeling the jeans and long pants after a season’s worth of skirts, dresses, and silky pajama-like pants that pass as formal office wear. And yes, that’s the main reason behind my seasonal hesitation.
But regardless of what the lower half of my body is clothed in, I can always support soup-making weather, especially when the skies turn and said soup is hot. The true temperature of any delicious soup, steaming, just off a boil, hot. There’s a reason to celebrate fall.
Sometimes, leftovers get a bit weird. This week, I had nearly half a brick-roasted chicken. Juicy, rich, and bone-in. These leftovers were practically begging to jump in the soup pot. Who am I to get in their way? With just a couple onions, garlic cloves, fresh thyme, and butter’s helping hand, I had a Sunday afternoon pot of Caramelized Onion Chicken Soup. Nothing complicated, but everything comforting. It’s chicken noodle soup revamped with help of caramelized onions and fresh herbs. It’s rich, chunky, and just the soup to carry you through a change in seasons. Soup for the tummy, and soup for a fall day.
Recipe on the following page.
Caramelized Onion Chicken Soup
Half a roasted chicken
4 medium yellow onions
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus 3 twigs of fresh thyme
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
½ tablespoon honey
1 ½ cups dry egg noodles
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Peel and halve onions. Thinly slice and add to a large soup pot. Add butter to the onions and heat over medium-low heat until caramelized, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep onions from burning. Halfway through, peel and halve garlic cloves and add to the onions. When onions are a deep brown in color, deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping the bottom and sides to get off all the sugars. Add the chicken, bone-in, the thyme twigs, and the chicken broth and bring soup to a boil. Remove the chicken and remove pot from heat.
2. When chicken has cooled slightly, shred with a fork and discard bones, skin, and excess fat. Return to the soup and add the fresh thyme leaves and honey, being sure to fish out the three thyme twigs. Bring soup to a boil and add noodle, cooking until noodle are done. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.