The Perfect Soup For Your Family

A hearty base and flavorful additions will make this your new go-to.

If I’m not traveling, I make a giant pot of soup every Sunday. The ritual is based on my love of versatile, nutritious one-pot meals, and it ensures I have a healthy, satisfying, quick option the following week that I can customize to suit the cravings of my whole family. For my twins I add rice and grated cheese, and for Ben, I poach an egg in its broth and top his bowl with croutons. For me, I eat it as is, unless we have pesto, tapenade or romesco on hand. Then I gild my bowl with a nice big dollop.

The soup’s base is usually chicken and dried white lima beans. The two cook low and slow together until the chicken falls apart and gives everything its got to the broth. The beans do the same, adding the type of velvety body you’d expect from a roux or cream.

Since I make this soup often and don’t want to babysit it, I love using the slow cook feature on my range. This method doesn’t require an extra appliance like a slow cooker that’s going to clutter my countertops. The night before, I put my chicken and aromatics in a pot, fill it with water and tuck it in the oven and let it cook overnight.

To the base I add all kinds of things to make my soup both colorful and nutritious. In this one I’ve added kale, but I call on all kinds of greens, depending on what I have on hand. Cabbage and turnip greens are two of my favorites for their bitter qualities. Sometimes I add tomatoes; they highlight the Parm flavor and make the soup feel really substantial. Here, I use sweet potatoes because I like the sweet balance they bring to the pot, but you could use beets, turnips, rutabagas, and even apples to the same effect. What’s important is the ratio: No single ingredient should overpower the others. If you keep that in mind, you can treat the broth like a foundation for building the perfect super soup for you and your family.

When it comes to slow cooking in the oven, this feature is also great for beef stew, ribs, braised lamb shanks – anything that takes a long time and requires a really low temperature and gentle heat. 

Title

Slow cook to perfection

Simmer a delicious soup base in your oven with the slow cook feature on our Range.

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Super Soup

"To add complexity to the soup’s flavor, I throw in rinds saved from hunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Even if you never make this soup, you should start saving Parm rinds. They add umami and delicious depth to everything they simmer away in." - Vivian Howard

Servings: 3 quarts

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Ingredients

1 chicken, 2 ½ to 3½ pounds

2 cups dried lima beans

1 yellow onion, peeled and split

2 stalks celery

2 medium carrots, split

10 garlic cloves

8 sprigs thyme

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

3 bay leaves

3 quarts water

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups diced yellow onion (about 2 small onions)

2 teaspoons salt, divided

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice

5 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds (about 3 square inches)

1 pound kale

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

10 turns of the black-pepper mill (1/2 teaspoon)

Instructions

Rinse the chicken and place it, breast-side up, in a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven. Add dried lima beans, peeled onion, garlic, herbs, chili flakes, bay leaves, and water. The slow cook feature on your oven makes the cooking process at this point pretty foolproof. Tuck the pot in the oven and let it cook overnight (or about 8 hours).

The next morning, bring the pot out of the oven and check your chicken. What you’re looking for is for the chicken to be “falling to pieces,” as my mother would say. Then transfer the chicken to a rimmed plate. Pluck out the herbs, bay leaves, celery, carrot and onion (but feel free to leave the garlic) and pour the beany broth into a bowl. 

Wipe the same Dutch oven dry and add olive oil. Over medium heat, sweat the diced onion with 1 teaspoon salt for 5 minutes. Add broth, sweet potatoes and Parm rinds to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and finish cooking on the stovetop for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, pick the meat off the chicken and roughly chop the kale. You want kale spoon-friendly, so make sure you chop accordingly.

After 20 minutes, add the chicken, kale, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, and black pepper. Cook for 20 minutes more. Serve warm as is (or with a dollop of pesto if you have it).

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