Creamy Soup of Vegetables and Chicken | Supa Crema de Legume cu Pui

My brother and I gave our mom a really hard time as kids, particularly when it came to her cooking: for one reason or another, we always thought everyone else cooked better than she did, and we never shied from expressing our expert opinions on the matter (truth be told, our mom was a fabulous cook, but it took us many years to realize that). At one point, we let her know that her soups cannot match the awesome delicacies served at our kindergarten. The reason was very simple: our lives were already full of hardships (like fighting over toys or screaming our lungs out), so she could not really expect us to have much energy left in us to also chew the vegetables in the soup. The amazing chefs at our kindergarten were aware of the complexities of a kid's life, and they created this amazing soup that had no vegetables to chew on (looking back, it was just water boiled with soup seasonings, almost nothing natural or nutritious). Our mom did not believe us at first, but after a few meals where we did not touch the soup, she decided to prepare a special soup for us, according to our specifications. The recipe below was her best attempt at creating a soup that is nutritious and healthy, while not having any vegetables nor meat in it.


In her unlimited wisdom, our mom selected a lot of lighter colored vegetables for the soup - it's easier to conceal a peeled summer squash or parsnip in a soup, then it is to achieve the same effect with a red bell pepper. She was a great cook, but she was not Harry Potter. After boiling everything, she mashed them individually and made them lost in the soup, which became very creamy as a result. Her biggest mistake was that she mashed them by hand, which allowed us to spot a few minute pieces of carrots upon careful examination of her creation. But the soup was too delicious, so we forgave our mom for her cunningness and we kept slurping her savory concoction.


Aside from being a great food for kids and a welcome change from a regular soup, this recipe is also great for situations where a loved one has difficulties chewing. For example, when he or she gets the wisdom teeth removed. Give it a try, and I assure you that your efforts towards preparing the dish would be greatly appreciated.



Ingredients:
 - Two yellow bell peppers
 - Two summer squashes
 - Two celery sticks
 - One yellow onion
 - One carrot
 - One parsnips
 - Five or six potatoes
 - One small celery root
 - One and a half pounds of chicken (preferably with skin and bones - legs, wings, backs)
 - Spices: salt, a tablespoon of black peppercorns, four or five bay leaves


Preparation:
 - Wash, clean and peel the vegetables. Place them alongside the chicken in a large pot.
 - Add one gallon of water, the black peppercorns and the bay leaves.
 - Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover, and continue cooking for an hour and a half.
 - Remove from heat.
 - Pick the vegetables and place them separately.
 - Pick the chicken pieces. Separate the meat and discard the bones and the skin.
 - Sift the soup through a cheesecloth, and discard the bay leaves and the peppercorns - they already added flavor to the soup.
 - Run the vegetables (minus the carrot) and the chicken meat through the blender (use some of the soup to get it going). Mash the carrots separately: similarly to my mom's original recipe, I like to see very small pieces of the carrot in the soup, and not really a puree of it (which would change the color of the soup).
 - Finally, mix the vegetables and chicken with the remaining soup. Add salt to taste.
 - Serve warm.


Presentation:
 - Place the soup in a nice colorful bowl for serving. I prefer a red or orange bowl, as it matches the occasional small pieces of carrots in the soup.
 - Garnish with croutons and chopped parsley to add further color and texture.

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