(3 1/2 lb) chicken (I can get packages of backs, necks, legs, etc. you know that this is the more frugal way.) or 3 1/2 lbs chicken parts (I can get packages of backs, necks, legs, etc. you know that this is the more frugal way.)
Once you've made the basic chicken soup below, you divide the broth & meat, then add different ingredients to get endless combinations.
Make the basic chicken soup & freeze in portioned containers; then add the ingredients for individual recipes below to make a quick, tasty soup on a busy night. Bring all ingredients just to boil in large pot. Skim off foam & discard.
Reduce heat & simmer, uncovered, 2 1/2 hours or until chicken is very tender.
Strain liquid, cool & refrigerate so the fat can be removed easily.
Let the meat cool until it can be handled.
Remove meat from bones.
Skim fat from broth; freeze up to 6 mos. & use to make soups below: (Note: makes about 12 cup broth & 4 cup meat) For every 4 servings, heat 6 cups chicken broth.
Stir in ingredients from recipe. Cook, stirring, until done. Add 2 cup shredded cooked chicken & heat through:
North Boston: 2 (15 oz.) cans drained & rinsed white beans, 1 (8 oz.) can stewed tomatoes, 1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, 1 teaspoons Italian seasoning. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
South Miami: 2 (15 oz.) cans drained & rinsed black beans, 1/2 cup long grain white rice, 3 cup cubed winter squash, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme. Serve with lemon wedges.
New Orleans: 1 (9 oz.) pkg. frozen cut okra, 1 (15 oz.) can stewed tomatoes, 1 (17 oz.) can whole kernel corn, 1/2 cup long grain white rice, 1 teaspoons dried thyme. Top with crumbled crisp bacon.
Santa Fe: 4 cup diced zucchini, 1 1/2 cup shredded carrot, 2 (15 oz.) cans drained & rinsed chick peas, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin. Serve sprinkled with crushed taco chips.
San Francisco: 3 cup fine egg noodles, 2 cup frozen green peas, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger. Just before serving, whisk in 1 beaten egg. Sprinkle with sliced scallions.
Milwaukee: 4 cup cubed raw potatoes, 4 cup shredded cabbage, 1/2 cup diced smoked sausage, 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds. Serve sprinkled with chopped celery leaves & a little vinegar.