magpie 39

Author: angiem, 11 03rd, 2010

Maybe it is the sight of smoke curling out of chimneys, or maybe the scent of damp earth, or it could even be the sound of hissing pines in the wind, or the feel of frost touching the tip of my nose on my late afternoon walks, but in autumn my body craves the comforting taste of soup.

When I was young, my family had a rooster who in turn had his own little harem of hens. Whenever one of the hens would stop providing the required daily eggs, my mom or my dad would catch it, cut off her head, pluck off the feathers, and plop the body in the soup pot. But every once in a while it was determined that a new rooster would need to become the king of the henhouse.  The overall egg production was too low, the hens bickered far too much, and my parents were in no mood to humor their jealousies, or his disinterest.  And so it was decided that the rooster would be made into soup. And what a soup it was!

Honestly, I cannot tell you that rooster soup is better tasting than hen soup. My dad insists that it is so.  I, however, tend to think that it is the combination of chicken broth, my mother’s home-made noodles, a few slices of carrots and a bit of parsley, that make that simmering bowl unforgettable.

1 whole free-range rooster (or hen), beheaded and de-feathered. Wash well and discard the liver, neck, and heart.
8-10 large carrots, peeled
6 celery stalks
1 large yellow onion peeled
1 parsnip (small)
1parsley root (small)
1 cup parsley chopped
1 tablespoon salt

Fill large pot with cold water. Add the salt and the chicken. Cover. Keep it on medium high until it starts to boil, then lower the temp to medium. Add the carrots, celery, parsnip, parsley root, and onion and bring to a boil, partially covered. When the meat is fully cooked (check by inserting a fork, or approx. 2 hours later), turn off the heat and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Then strain it, discarding everything but the chicken and carrots, and let it cool a bit more before refrigerating.

In a saucepan bring some of the broth to a boil. Add the home-made noodles and let them simmer over low heat, covered for 10 minutes. Ladle it into bowls. Garnish the serving with the chopped parsley.

It is particularly delicious with a buttered chunk of baguette. Oh, and the meat you can lightly brown in some olive oil. Add sauteed mushrooms, some polenta, and a green salad and you’ll have every excuse to stay in, build a fire, and perhaps play a game of Scrabble.

Anyway, Bon Appetit!

This is a Magpie Tale.


43 Responses to “magpie 39”

  1. dash Says:

    Hi Angie, this soup sounds delicious, just what we need now the weather is getting chilly.

  2. Strummed Words Says:

    Sounds like a great soup!
    Here’s my Cock of the Walk

  3. lisahgolden Says:

    My mouth is watering. I’ve never made homemade noodles, preferring instead, the thick frozen noodles made by Eames, but you might just have created a convert.

  4. Karen@SurvivingMotherhood Says:

    Ahhh. This sounds wonderful!!!
    (Except that it sounds like an awful lot of work. LOL!)
    It’s cold outside - and hot, homemade chicken soup followed by a game of Scrabble would be delightful today.

  5. deb @ talk at the table Says:

    I always make soup from scratch, including chicken , but have never used parsnip. I might try it , although it was one veggie I remember hating from the finish what’s on your plate days.

  6. helen Says:

    Scrabble it is then! Memories of all those wonderful chicken soups I ate at the table of my grandparents. Just as you described!

  7. Anya Says:

    Angie, it soounds so good, but I would feel so guilty eating this poor silly rooster. I would be afraid of Koo-ka-doodle-doo coming right out of my tummy. :-)

  8. Jena Says:

    It sounds divine!!! Put me down for a bowl of that soup and some of the chicken, mushrooms and polenta. I have never made any of them from scratch.

  9. Mary Moon Says:

    I made rooster and dumplings out of my Sam. Best thing I ever did. He was a mean, tough old bird and the hens have been so much happier with their new husband, Elvis.
    But I had to boil him for about half a day. Oh well!

  10. angiem Says:

    Dash and Karen! Hello! I have missed you both so much. I hope summer’s treated you well.

    Lisa - Noodles are very easy to make, just time consuming. That’s why I have my mother make them or I buy them from friends of hers that do.

    Deb - I don’t like the taste of parsnip itself, but I do like the flavor it gives soup.

    Anya - Hahahaha. Yeah, I can just imagine. :D

    Ms. Moon - Yes, I can tell your hens are happier with Elvis.

  11. brigid Says:

    Sounds delicious, but that is probably down to your mother’s culinary skill.
    Great Magpie.

  12. willow Says:

    Mmm…I can smell the heavenly scent from here. Yes, by all means, Scrabble!

  13. Susan Tiner Says:

    Your soup recipe is nearly the same as ours. I think the turnip makes the difference — I use 3 medium. Now I want to stay in and make soup and build a fire :-).

  14. christine Says:

    Tomorrow I am making chicken soup, this has made my mouth water!
    Thank you for the recipe.

  15. Rene Foran Says:

    Oh yum! Send me some :)

    I love that it is noted that you must behead and defeather the rooster..

  16. Reflections Says:

    Sounds like a delicious day of warmth from the inside out… at least for the humans.

  17. Christie Says:

    Oh! This soup sound fabulous and it’s definitely soup weather!

  18. Susan Deborah Selvaraj Says:

    Hmmmm. Delicious Magpie. I wonder at your creations, dear Angie. Sometimes it is a part of your history, sometimes a semi-fictive piece, sometimes fiction . . . How I enjoy all these treats from your end.

    Can’t get enough.

    Best wishes for more delectable Magpies.

    Joy and peace,

  19. Francesca Says:

    I was writing just yesterday about the smells in autumn. I never had rooster soup, and never thought of adding parsnips, but I always add a celery stalk and leaves, and I’d swear by the celery leaves!

  20. Ötli Says:

    I really like soups as well. I’ll try your recipe.
    For the next CV (hosted by Theresa) the topic is autumn.
    And thanks for your kind comment. I believe in my dreams ;)

  21. cate Says:

    there is just something about soups. i remember after being very sick (flu, cold, bronchitis) for nearly a month while away at college, i came home to california. my mom had made chicken soup with rice. she served me a bowl of it, and i devoured it, so she filled up the bowl again, and again i ate it all. a third bowl went down in the same way. she said that she had never seen me eat so much in my entire life. it tasted so good, was so much what i needed. the next day, i felt completely healed.

  22. Lyn Says:

    Chicken long as it cures a cold..success!! Very charming…and definitely, home made noodles!!

  23. Diane Says:

    I’d love to play you a game of Scrabble, I play it by myself all the time. Soup sounds perfect on these cool rainy days! :O)

  24. audrey Says:

    O! delicious!! Angie, what a wonderful, clever, and temptingly delicious way to share a Magpie Tale. So succintly and enticingly written…

  25. La Belette Rouge Says:

    You know before this moment I have NEVER thought about the gender of the meat I eat. Shame on me!

  26. Sabine Says:

    The soup sounds delicious! Can I just use an (already defeathered) chicken instead of rooster?

  27. Kristin Says:

    I’m literally drooling. That sounds so delish!

  28. Julie Says:

    Hi Angie
    I am definitely a soup person!!! my favourite being a Greek Chicken soup recipe a picked up from a family friend.. I don’t though think that I could kill my supper.. hahaha Sometimes ignorance is bliss!!! hehe

    Thank you for your always kinds comments my way…it is truly a gift whenever you pop by… ciao.. Have a lovely weekend.. xxx Julie

  29. brian Says:

    you know i wish i would have had this back in FL when that rooster would come around on saturday mornings…smiles.

  30. Cindy L Says:

    While I am a vegetarian, I truly relate to the autumnal need for soup! There’s something so cozy about an all-day soup simmering on the stove or in the slow cooker! Love this!

  31. rochambeau Says:

    Hey there Angie,
    Here’s a salute to soup season!
    Did it make you sad that you rooster was being made into soup?
    Hope all in well in your neck of the wood.


  32. Elisa_Croatia Says:

    I remember the long prep. My grandmother used to do this everytime we visited her farm in Mexico. She said it was my older sister’s favorite meal. She even had a little song for my sister, “que le mate, que le mate el pollo.”( to kill, to kill the chicken) to this day she still sings it but the chicken now comes from the grocery store. LOL

    hope you had a great weekend!

  33. Lydia Says:

    I love chicken soup so much but have been dissatisfied with the recipes I’ve tried. This one sounds splendid with the parsnips (I just tonight mentioned baked parsnips to Belette Rouge on FB). I will try your recipe.

    Am confused about the last paragraph, re: browning the meat, adding polenta…is that then used in the soup? I know, I know…I can be dense sometimes!

  34. Anya Says:

    Dear Angie, the other day I had a bowl of chicken soup and it made me think of you and your wonderful writing. :-)
    Answering your question: Garance Dore is an extrordinary illustrator and fashion photographer, I am sure if you Google her name, yoou will get tone of results. :-) We had snow in New York today, I could not believe my own eyes! Too soon for New York, made me feel like Christmas is just around the corner.:-)

  35. angiem Says:

    Susan Deborah - Thank you. You always say the nicest things. Truly.

    Francesca - I just made chicken soup yesterday and took your advice and added celery leaves. I can taste the difference. Yum!

    La Belette - Well, and why should you? I never think about it unless it’s chicken soup.

    Lydia - Oh… yes, I see why. No, no don’t add them to the soup. They are a second course. Haha.

    Anya - I did Google her immediately after. And, yes, there’s a bunch of info on her. Wow!

  36. Mama Zen Says:

    Oh, but I hated plucking those chickens!

  37. The Hausfrau Says:

    Sounds good to me!

  38. Jeanne Says:

    Angie, I took a walk in the woods the other day and thought about the five sense and how I would describe them. My mind went blank for some reason. When I read your opening paragraph I knew I was reading what I wanted to say. Perfect!
    Rooster soup…why not?

    Jeanne xx

  39. Holly L Says:

    The soups sounds delightful! Catching, beheading and plucking a rooster or hen does not.

  40. Bunny Says:

    Dear Angie,
    Your vivid Autumn description is perfect as is your Rooster soup recipe! Soup is so healing and comforting. Now I wonder, is your story true or a lovely work of fiction. Either way it is so delightful.

  41. laura Says:

    My you have brought back memories with this one, Angie! I can still smell the scent of wet feathers (yuck).

    I have missed you, friends. Life is so crazy this time of year. Forgive my absence and know that I think of you and your lovely stories often!

  42. rick Says:

    I think its his “crow” that makes him taste better.

  43. Marlen Mccadden Says:

    Insightful. Keep it coming.

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