The Saturday night before you visit the farmer's market, pull all the chicken carcasses, turkey bones, celery and onion scraps and parmiggiano reggiano rinds you've been storing in the freezer and huck it all into a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer and let hang out uncovered on the stove for 3-4 hours. Other than skimming foam as needed, you don't need to watch it at all.
I do this around dinner time and then turn off the pot (and cover it) right before I go to bed. If you are worried about food safety, refrigerate the stock. If you are like me, just let it sit tightly covered on the stove. (Return stock to boil then turn off stove and tightly cover.)
Wake up Sunday morning, have your coffee then head out to the farmer's market. Fill your bags or baskets with whatever looks good. When you come home, turn the soup back on use a spider or slotted spoon to strain out all the bones and stuff, and bring stock (about 3 quarts) to a simmer. If you are like to me you slide the following into the pot:
- 5 small sliced pale green zucchini
- 1 lb. of green beans, chopped
- 2 big handfuls of spinach
- 2 big handfuls of tatsoi
- 1/2 a red cabbage, chopped
- 1 lb of small potatoes, halved
- 4 big carrots cut into half moons
- 4 stalks of celery chopped, leaves and all
Then add a 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, and 2 cans of kidney beans drained. Simmer on low for about an hour. Right before serving dump in a (half box to a box depending on size) of small pasta like farfalline (me), small macaroni, small shells, or pennette. Taste for salt and pepper—this is the first time you are adding any.
Serve in wide bowls adorned with spoonfuls of pistou (aka pesto, a blend of grated parmiggiano or pecorino, fresh basil, garlic, and olive oil) or just a drizzle of fragrant, fruity olive oil. Bread on the side? Okay.
Whatever you don't eat, freeze. Happy Sunday!