Mediterranean Chicken Soup with Tortellini


This stock, and the one for the fish soup that follows, can be made several weeks in advance and frozen. To use, thaw, and bring just to a boil; proceed to step three.


For the Soup:

  • Salt for boiling, plus more to taste

  • pound fresh meat-filled tortellini

  • 1 bunch chives

For the Stock:

  • 3 pounds chicken back, necks, and wings

  • 5 sprigs fresh tarragon

  • 10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and cut into 3-inch lengths

  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 3-inch lengths

  • 1 small onion, quartered

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika

  • 6 canned plum tomatoes

  • ¼ teaspoon saffron

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds

  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 orange peel


  1. Remove excess fat from chicken parts, and rinse; transfer to a large stockpot. Add all remaining ingredients, except salt, tortellini, and chives. Add 4 quarts water, and bring to a boil. Skim scum from stock as it rises.

  2. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer 2 hours; skim scum as it rises. Pass through fine strainer; discard solids. Skim fat; season with salt.

  3. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add tortellini; cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Pour soup into 12 very small serving vessels, such as sake cups. Place a tortellini in each; garnish with 2 chive sprigs. Serve immediately, and refill as needed.

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