Chicken Vegetable Soup
1 whole chicken fryer (or rotisserie chicken)
1 48oz can reduced sodium chicken broth
3-4 cloves garlic
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
carrots (I buy the pre-sliced ones to save time)
sliced mushrooms (or other vegetable of choice)
baby spinach (I didn't have any this time, but I usually add a whole bag at the end)
Spices of choice (parsley, pepper, garlic salt, etc.)
small pasta (if you would like to serve it with noodles)
Start by heating olive oil in the bottom of a large stock pot. Add chopped garlic and onions and saute until softened. Wash off the whole chicken and remove excess skin or fat (this is the worst part! I cringe every time I have to handle "the bird"). Place whole chicken into the stock pot with the garlic and onions, and add 48oz can of chicken broth. Add enough water to almost completely cover the chicken. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then simmer/boil until chicken is cooked through. I don't know exactly how long it took, but it was about an hour or so. Once chicken meat is white and cooked, remove chicken from pot and place on a plate to cool. Reduce heat. Skim fat/excess oil/onions and garlic off the top of the broth and discard. Chop vegetables and add to the broth (celery, additional onions/scallions, carrots, mushrooms) as well as desired spices (parsley, pepper, garlic salt).
While vegetables start cooking in the broth, remove and shred meat off of the cooled chicken, into a bowl (make sure chicken is in bite size pieces). Once chicken is cleaned (I consider myself to be an expert chicken cleaner, is that a skill?), add it to the soup. Bring everything back up to a simmer until vegetables are cooked. Add spinach last, and allow to wilt. I usually cook a small size pasta in a separate pan, and add it to the soup only when it's time to eat. I have found that adding pasta to the whole pot, tends to make the pasta mushy and not-so-great when it's re-heated.
There you have it - hot chicken vegetable soup for a cold winter's day. Enjoy and stay warm!