Smoked paprika chicken soup

Until recently brothy soups escaped me.  During the “Snowpocalypse” I finally figured one out.

The idea that had eluded me was the balance between a strong stock and aromatic vegetables and other aromatic ingredients (e.g. herbs and spices).  In the past I’d been too light on the latter, and the salt as well.  In the soup below, the smoked paprika does the work of transforming the stock into a soup.

There are more interesting things to do here.  Per my wife’s suggestion, I think the same ideas could work with gently poached shrimp in place of the chicken and shrimp stock in place of the chicken broth.  I’ve started flipping through my under-used copy of Penelope Casas’s Foods and Wines of Spain for further ideas.  And in general brothy soups feel more accessible to me.

Smoked paprika chicken soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cook-chilled chicken cutlet, around 1/8″ slices
  • 8 cups chicken full-flavored chicken stock
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ground smoked paprika
  • 3 slices Pullman loaf, diced
  • Finely grated Manchego cheese, as necessary
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as necessary
  • Small handful parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the paprika and cook until aromatic.
  3. Add the stock, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer.
  4. After adding the stock, dice the bread, lightly cover with olive oil, and season with salt.  After the bread toasts, sprinkle with cheese.  Remove from oven when cheese has lightly browned.
  5. Add a few slices of chicken to each bowl.  Ladle soup over the chicken and top with parsley and croutons.  The soup will reheat the chicken as you bring the bowls to the table.  (It’s important not to heat the cook-chilled chicken too much, as it will lose its tender texture.)  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to taste.

 

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