Calabrian Spring Onion Chicken Soup with Ricotta
Hey, it’s my bloggerversary. I know, a year already? I’m totally shocked I haven’t abandoned this thing yet.
I’d like to thank all of you that read and comment and generally make me feel less socially awkward. You guys are the very best. So I decided to make some chicken soup for this special occasion. Why? Because my most popular recipe on this site is my Peruvian Cilantro Chicken Soup recipe, and I’d like to dethrone it.
I’m in competition with myself. It’s so tiring. I’m so very tired.
(And this is actually two recipes in one.)
I’m going to walk you through the whole process of making this soup. From making the onion-y broth in your pressure cooker, to the soup itself and it’s garnishes. We can do this together.
Let’s start with the pressure cooker. I’m sure you all are very familiar with my stance on them about now. Whether you like the grown-up stove top models (Kuhn Rikon, WMF, Fagor) or the bulky yet “set it and forget it, oh so popular in paleo-sphere” electric versions (Instant Pot), you would be better off with one in your life. If you are serious about broth-making, that is. For this recipe, I just stuffed a chicken, some chicken-y pieces, and a TON of spring onions, garlic, and red onion into my pressure cooker. I was going for maximum allium action. So, if you don’t like onions, I can’t help you. No one can.
If you are starting with a pressure cooker that is 7 quarts (or bigger), you will have lots of leftover broth. I used my extra broth to make rice (and froze the rest). Then I put that brothy rice in my soup. Always choose broth over water. That’s my motto. Kind of like that whole “blood is thicker than water” saying, but with broth.
Well, I had never actually heard of anyone adding ricotta to a soup, but it sounded like a really genius idea (why thank you) and there you go, I did it. I suggest you try it too. Or maybe it’s already your family tradition and I need to get out more?
And lastly, the Calabrian chile paste. It’s my latest obsession. From the Southernmost Italian region of Calabria, these small red chiles are often sold ground into a paste mixed with olive oil, vinegar, and salt. They are a perfect complex balance of spicy, sweet, salty, fruity, and a teeny bit smokey. They should be an easy find at well stocked grocery stores, especially those that have an “international” aisle. I was actually sick a few weeks ago and my throat was so sore I couldn’t eat anything spicy. My Glob, it was so hard. I would look at my vast chile pepper collection and just want to sob. I’m healthy again and I’ve been eating the Calabrian chile paste on almost everything. Mixed into sardines, in my salad dressings, pasta sauce, added to roasted vegetables. I think I want to make a Szechuan style hot pot with it next, but Italian. Hey, did I just invent Italian hot pot? I also hear it’s really good on sweet potatoes, so that’s also on my chile pepper wish list. (Actually a real wish list I have.) (Under my pillow.) (Shhhh….)
- 1 whole chicken (with head and feet if possible)
- 2 pounds of chicken feet (or chicken necks/wing tips)
- 1 whole red onion, cut into quarters
- 1 bunch of scallions, roughly chopped
- 1 head of garlic, split in half
- Add everything to your pressure cooker (I use a 7 quart Kuhn Rikon.) And add water to max fill line. Pressure cook on high for 60 minutes then allow to pressure to release naturally. Strain* the broth and harvest the chicken meat and set it aside.
- Ready to be used in soup, stews, rice-making, etc. Freeze any leftover broth.
- If you'd like to do this without a pressure cooker, add all ingredients to a stock pot, bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 3-4 hours.
- *Keep all boney parts for your next chicken broth. They freeze well.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- one bunch of scallions, white portion chopped, about 3/4 cup (reserve green portion)
- 1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
- pinch of sea salt
- 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 5 cups Pressure Cooker Spring Onion Chicken Broth (see recipe above)
- reserved shredded chicken from making broth (or 1 pound of chicken thighs cut into chunks)
- salt to taste
- reserved green portion of scallions
- 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta, or to taste
- 1 cup of rice cooked in chicken broth
- Calabrian chile paste, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add white portion of scallions and red onion and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Cook until onions are translucent and softened, about 8 minutes.
- Add garlic and stir constantly until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Deglaze with wine and add warmed chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
- Add chicken and once warmed through, taste and adjust salt level. Since the broth is homemade it will be necessary to add enough salt. Add roughly chopped green portion of scallions.
- Portion into bowls and add about 1 tablespoon of ricotta to each bowl. Serve with rice cooked in broth, Calabrian chile paste, and black pepper.