Little bit o’ everything soup

From Paula Ladin

Serves 12 (?)

Paula brought this rich, pleasantly uncategorizable soup last week and served it up with help from her daughters Lucy and Nora, and not so much help from her son Ivo, who preferred to zoom around the Hideout looking cute. This is a classic “back of the refrigerator” soup — a recipe guided, says Paula, by the principle, “When in doubt, add cream.”


whole chicken
bay leaves
2-3 ribs of celery
2 carrots
1 large onion
bunch parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme
bulb of garlic
2 leeks
1 butternut squash
1 fennel bulb
couple of potatoes
butter and oil
heavy cream


Salt a whole chicken all over and let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours. Make a chicken broth by bringing a pot of water with the chicken, peppercorns, and bay leaves to a boil. Turn it down to simmer for about 3-4 hours, skimming as necessary. Take out the chicken and use in another recipe. Skim any fat off the top. Add 2-3 ribs of celery, 2 carrots, a peeled, quartered onion, a bulb of garlic cut in half, a bunch of parsley, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for an hour. Drain the broth, cool, and skim off any fat.

Using the same soup pot, sauté 2 leeks, a butternut squash, a bulb of fennel, and a couple of potatoes in butter and oil for about 10 minutes. Next add chopped garlic to your taste. When everything is nicely caramelized, add the stock back in and simmer altogether.

Meanwhile, boil up some lentils with a few bay leaves, and pour boiling water over some bulgur. When the bulgur has absorbed all the water and plumped up (drain the excess water if necessary), add it to the lentils and simmer for about an hour. Then pour the entire thing into the soup pot. Add a large bunch of roughly chopped spinach, simmer for 10 minutes or so. Turn off the heat and add cream-between a pint and a quart, depending on your preference. Taste for salt and pepper, and serve.


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