Summer and soup don’t always go hand in hand but I recently made a couple of my Easy and Amazing Roast Chickens so I felt compelled to make a Seasonal Summer Soup with the leftover carcasses that still had plenty of meat left to make a hearty, delicious second meal. I’m so glad that I did because the outcome was so worth it – and my family – they wouldn’t shut up about this soup! Actually, they were really stinking quiet for a while just chowing down which was kind of miraculous because if you’ve spent anytime with my boys you know that being quiet is NOT typical for them, pretty much ever. Maybe I should call this Miracle Soup or Be Quiet Soup or Soup of Silence but we will stick with Seasonal Summer Soup I suppose. Ok so once they could talk about the soup, after the chewing and swallowing and slurping, then they wouldn’t shut up about the soup. “Best soup you’ve ever made!” “Wow, why is this so good mom?” “I love all the toppings!” You get the point, lots of praise and then they were back to teasing me about not singing the lyrics right to the song on Pandora and calling me crazy and telling me they are stronger than I am, you know, the usual boys vs. mom stuff.
So, on to how to make this soup – the secret is you have to have to have to take the time to make the roast chicken first. Eat that – it’s a great meal – you’ll thank me – and THEN the next day you can make this soup. Using the roast chicken gives this soup the depth of flavor it deserves and it just won’t be the same without this important step. Trust me, you’ll thank me later and now you have two dinners already planned for your week so BAM there you go. Another secret, treat this like you would a work of art, not an exact recipe – I’ll give you the guidelines but please use more or less of any and all ingredients I recommend because honestly, making soup is just that way – layer flavors and different components until you get something magical and beautiful. And now here we are, back to calling it Magic Soup…. Alright folks, enough silliness, time to cook and EAT!
*Note – we are now a two chicken family so I used two carcasses for this soup. If you are a one chicken family, cut the ingredient suggestions in half.
Seasonal Summer Soup
- 2 leftover carcasses from the Easy and Amazing Roast Chicken and any leftover meat you might have from last nights dinner
- Enough water to cover carcasses
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 small red bell pepper diced
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2-4 garlic cloves minced
- 3 ears of organic sweet corn
- 2 medium yellow summer squash or zucchini
- 1-2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1-2 tablespoons dried oregano
- Juice from two limes
- ½ - 1 teaspoon chipotle or ancho chili powder I used chipotle for the smoky flavor
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- 1 jicama peeled and diced
- 1 bunch of cilantro chopped
- 5-6 radishes halved and thinly sliced
- 2 small fresh tomatoes chopped
- 4-5 green onions chopped
- 1 avocado diced
- 1 bunch cilantro chopped
- 1 lime sliced
- Crumbled Cotija Cheese
Place the two chicken carcasses in a large soup pot and cover completely with cold water along with a few big pinches of salt.
Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, turn the heat down until the water is simmering and simmer the carcasses for 1 ½ - 2 hours or until the meat is coming off the bones and the bones are soft. During this process, tilt the lid on your pot so that some of the steam escapes but not so much that the liquid greatly reduces.
Strain the broth and set aside, this is liquid gold and will be the base for your soup!
In the meantime, let the chicken carcasses cool until you are able to handle the meat and bones and this is when it gets fun. Pick out all the delicious edible meat, pull what you can from the bones, and set the meat aside to later be added to your soup. Discard the bones.
Now, add the olive oil to the bottom of your clean soup pot and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, season with a little sea salt, and sauté until the onions and peppers are salt.
Add the minced garlic and sauté just until the garlic is fragrant.
Slowly pour in the chicken broth that you had set aside and bring to a simmer.
While you are waiting for your broth to simmer, cut the kernels off your ears of corn.
Add the fresh corn and the yellow summer squash or zucchini to the broth and let cook for 5-7 minutes.
Add the chicken, the spices, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste and let simmer another 5-7 minutes.
Check your seasoning and add more cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and/or lime juice per your personal taste preference! This soup should be bursting with flavor!
To serve, ladle a big ol’ serving into your soup bowl and top heartily with all of your toppings, finishing with a generous sprinkle of the cotija cheese if desired.
Enjoy and eat the leftovers for breakfast – that’s an order!