This soup recipe is good for the soul. A huge shout out to my Aunt Joanie who has perfected the recipe over the years!
Disclaimer: This soup takes a few hours too cook, so make it on a cold snowy (or rainy) day when you're putzing around the house.
We have the video version of this recipe featured in the highlights section of our instagram page @nutcrumbs
Grab your largest pot and place the raw chicken in it. Fill the pot up with water, covering the entire chicken. Heavily salt the water and boil on high heat for just about two hours! You will probably have to add more water along the way as it evaporates. When I say heavily salt, I took my giant box of Kosher salt and gave it two good swirls around the pot, probably equating about 2 T. of salt.
While the chicken is cooking, you're going to want to make the meatballs. We usually roll our meatballs in Nut Crumbs after they are formed (in addition to including them in the meat mixture itself) but didn't for this recipe, since they go in the soup. We also made smaller meatballs, and cooked them for only 10 minutes at 350 degrees, as they will finish cooking in the soup.
After the two hours is up, take the chicken out of the water and place on a large plate to cool. The chicken should be falling apart. You will also have to strain the broth, to be sure all the remaining chicken/bones are out! Taste the broth to see if it needs more flavor. If the water is salted enough you will not need to add chicken broth. Throw the carrots, celery, and onion (all rough chopped) into the broth and let boil for about 10-15 minutes until softened. Once softened, take the vegetables out and put into a blender. Add about a cup of water (or broth if its the exact taste you want it to be and don't want to add any additional water) to the blender and puree. Pour the pureed mixture back in the rest of the broth.
Bring broth back to medium heat and throw in the pasta (if you are gluten-free, paleo, or keto...no pasta!) and the meatballs, allowing both to cook for about 10 minutes. Turn back down to low.
Once the chicken is cooled enough to handle, get all the meat off of the bones and shred with your hands. Be careful not to miss any bones and put the chicken back into the broth. Add the chopped escarole into the soup and wait until it wilts before serving.
Last step is to ladle out a giant helping to yourself and enjoy :)