Siskiyou Cooks + Chefs: Chicken soup with mushrooms and broccoli
Siskiyou County is a majestic place to be in Autumn. The trees are a rich with colors, the sky is brilliantly blue and the air is crisp. Perfect weather for a warm meal after a day of doing fall chores. I’ve been drying apples, plums and pears, making jams between gathering wood and putting my garden to bed.
Soups are simple to make with what you have on hand. Feel free to substitute or add any vegetable with what you have on hand. You could add a starch like rice or potatoes. Once you do the prep work of cutting and slicing then sautéing you are free to eat when you are ready. I have never been able to make a small batch of soup, so I have enough soup for a couple of meals and some for the freezer.
I make soups in a 6-quart Dutch oven. A Dutch oven is a cast iron pot that can be purchased in most department stores, some hardware stores and on-line. I prefer the enamel cast Dutch oven. Mine first one was a Le Creuset, my second is a Martha Stewart. The Dutch oven holds the heat and once warmed up the heat is evenly distributed. It is good for making spaghetti sauces, soups and stews. I use it to fry chicken, too.
Chicken Soup with mushrooms and broccoli
4 chicken thighs – I used skin on – bone in.
6 oz. mushrooms - Portobello or cremini or a mix of your favorite – fresh or frozen
2 – 3 stalks celery – including the leaves, they add a lot of flavor
1 head of broccoli – cut the florets into bite size pieces
2 boxes broth – I used 1 chicken and 1 mushroom
Sprig of rosemary, thyme and sage – 1 tbsp dried – I used fresh, because I grow them
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp turmeric
Salt and pepper
Salt and pepper the chicken then fry in 2 tbsp oil in a Dutch oven skin side down for 10 minutes over medium heat. Turn and fry another 10 minutes. Remove the chicken onto a cutting board. Clean off any dirt from your mushrooms with a dry towel and slice or chop into 1” cubes. I include the stems. Toss the mushrooms into the pot and sauté for about 10-12 minutes. You want them to absorb the chicken fat. Add a little more oil if they are sticking. Remove the meat from the bones and chop into 1” cubes. Don’t worry if it isn’t fully cooked, it will be when you are finished. Remove the mushrooms. Add celery and sauté until it is soft. Pour your broth into the pot and stir making sure you get the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. They contain a lot of flavor. Add broccoli, chicken and herbs and bring to a boil on medium high heat then reduce to simmer. The soup can continue to cook for 1 to 2 hours. Add the mushrooms to warm and remove any rosemary, sage or thyme stems before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.
Lauri Sturdivant is interested in how our friends and families gather around a table sharing meals and telling stories. In this column she shares recipes and stories from people in Siskiyou County, and restaurant reviews from her travels. Read full interviews, find recipes and reviews at TheBillPlate.com. If you’re interested in sponsoring this column in the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News, call (530) 842-5777 or (530) 926-5214.