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 the goods

1 boiling hen

1 parmesan rind

2 stalks celery, sliced

2 large carrots, scrubbed and diced

2 onions peeled and diced

2 large tomatoes, diced

2 handfuls cracked pasta shells

salt and papper

time: active 15 minutes, total 2 hrs 

serve with: tapenade torpedos

view the 'global chicken soup' newsletter that featured this recipe

noah's chicken soup

this is an italian soup that my old room-mate used to make for me. I call it noah's soup because all of the vegies go into the pot in pairs. the secret ingredient is a bit of old parmesan rind

hands up who's been throwing their rinds away?

well, never again! these little buggers have more flavour than all of the cheese they contain. throw a rind in a soup or a stew and you can close you eyes and take a trip to rome

anyhoo; here's the soup!

skin: a whole chicken and trim any fat. toss the bird into the soup pot, add 2 chopped tomatoes, 2 chopped onions, 2 chopped celery stalks and 2 chopped carrots. add a piece of parmesan rind (about 3-4 inches long and 1-2 inches wide) and cover with water. add some cracked black peppercorns. bring to the boil and let simmer for a good 2 hours. skim the scum as you go

taste: before adding salt. add 2 fistfuls of broken pasta and cook until the pasta is tender. garnish with chopped parsley

* for friends, I serve this soup bones and all, for 'polite society' and paramours I go to the trouble of taking the chicken out of the pot, separating the bones and the flesh, then adding the chopped flesh back into the soup...though nothing feels as hearty or robust as big bowls of this soup, huge fleshy strips of chicken and dunking great chunks of bread into the broth

want to lighten things up?: you've already removed the chicken skin, if you want to keep the carbs low then ditch the pasta and throw in a can of drained and rinsed cannelli beans instead