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I make chicken broth in my crockpot regularly, with the bones leftover from roast chicken. But last week, I had a hankering for a soup with a little more in it. Like nice big chunks of chicken. Lots of vegetables. And some pasta. And a few matzah balls.
So I came up with this recipe for Everything Soup. All the stuff my family and I like in soup, I put in.
If you like other stuff, feel free to add it, too! Peas would be great. Or corn. Or rice. Or beans. Anything and everything.
Just be sure to start the soup the night before. The long, long cook time in the crockpot gives the broth a deep and complex flavor that you can't get from just simmering it on the stove for an hour or two. Add some parsley or dill to the broth to improve the flavor.
1 whole chicken
2-3 carrots, diced
4-5 ribs celery, including celery leaves, diced
1 onion, paper skin removed, cut into quarters
4-6 quarts water
2-3 carrots, finely diced
3 ribs celery, finely sliced
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1-1/4 cup matzo meal
2 tbsp chicken broth or water
1/2 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
salt and pepper to taste
The night before serving, place the whole chicken, 2-3 carrots, and 4-5 celery ribs including leaves into a 6 quart slow cooker. Add enough water to cover. Turn the slow cooker on high until foam forms at the surface; remove with a spoon. Turn the slow cooker to low and cook for 8-16 hours.
After broth is complete, remove chicken and vegetables from broth. Remove meat from bones and cut into large chunks. Return meat to the broth. Add another 2-3 finely cut carrots and 3 sliced ribs of celery and turn back on low for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make matzah balls: In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add the oil, salt, and pepper, and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the matzo meal and mix until the matzo meal is moistened. Add the water and mix again. Put the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Boil 8 cups of water in a large pot, adding salt to taste. Remove the matzo meal mixture. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of the mixture and form it into a ball with your hands. Place the rolled balls on a plate. Continue until all of the mixture has been used, about 12-16 balls. Place matzo balls into the boiling water with a slotted spoon. Once all the matzo balls are in the pot, cover and turn down to low. Allow the matzo balls to simmer gently for 30-40 minutes.
Remove matzah balls and add to the chicken broth. Also add 1/2 cup orzo, salt, and pepper at this time. Cook on low for another 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until orzo is cooked through.
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