Carrabba's Mama Mandola's Chicken Soup
(Minestra Di Pollo)
5 celery ribs
4 medium carrots, peeled
1 large yellow onion
2 medium potatoes, peeled
1 large green bell pepper
1 (14-ounce) can imported Italian plum tomatoes
1 (5-pound) hen, washed and cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 quarts water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dice celery, carrots, onion, potatoes and bell pepper into 1/4-inch pieces. Chop
tomatoes; reserve all juice. Place vegetables, tomatoes with their juice, chicken
pieces, parsley and garlic in a 10-quart stockpot. Add water. Season with salt and
pepper. Slowly bring soup to a boil over low heat. Skim off foam that rises to the
surface; may have to skim 2 or 3 times. Partially cover pot and simmer 2 hours.
When soup is finished, remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. Let cool.
Meanwhile, mash vegetables in the bottom of the pot with the back side of a large
cooking spoon or a potato masher. When chicken has cooled enough to handle, remove
skin and bones and return meat to soup.
Makes 1 1/2 gallons
Soup is best served the day after it is made. Refrigerate and remove fat
that solidifies on the surface of the soup.
Serve soup with rice or small, stubby
pasta such as pastina, tubetti or small elbow macaroni.
For better flavor, cook
the rice or pasta in the soup when reheating.
Add freshly grated Parmesan or Romano
cheese, if desired.