chicken-soup-tx

Once, when I was in high school, my brother’s girlfriend got sick. He made a pot of chicken soup for her and cut the carrots into little butterflies. Later, she made him some soup as well, but cut the carrots into little hearts. I pretty much thought they were geniuses, and have copied their idea here and there over the years.

Today, my kids and I were all sick, and I knew we needed something a little extra special, so I made their chicken soup with the heart shaped carrots. Before you panic, there is a trick to making them. I’m going to blog à la Pioneer Woman for a minute, and show you how to do it, step by step.

chicken-soup-13

Peel three large, fat carrots. Then use a pairing knife to cut out a notch, all the way down the length of the carrot. Remove the little wedge.

chicken-soup-4

Use a potato peeler to gently round off the pointed edges, like so:

chicken-soup-3

And so. This forms the top of your heart, see?

chicken-soup-7

Flip the carrot over, and shave off wide peels on each side of the bottom of the heart. Keep peeling until the two sides meet in a point . . .

chicken-soup-9

like this, to form the bottom of the heart.

chicken-soup-6

Once you’re done, you’ve basically made a long, cylindrical heart.

chicken-soup-5

Now all you need to do is cut it into slices. Repeat with the rest of the carrots.

chicken-soup-8

Et Voilà.

chicken-soup-11

chicken soup with heart-shaped carrots

1 tablespoon olive oil
three large carrots, cut into hearts (see instructions above)
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
2 stalks fresh thyme (optional)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 large sage leaves (optional)
4 cups low sodium chicken stock (All-Natural Swanson Chicken Broth, or Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock are my favorites.)
2-3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
pinch cayenne pepper (use your own discretion)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (Poulet en Papillote is my favorite way to cook chicken breasts, and you can follow these instructions.)
1/2 pound small pasta, such as farfalle or rotini, cooked for about 1 minute fewer than the recommended cooking time
fresh parsley

1. In a large pot set over medium-low heat, combine olive oil, carrot hearts, diced onion, celery, thyme (both kinds), bay leaf, and sage. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add in stock, a cup of water, and vinegar. Add in cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. After about 20 minutes, check the soup for flavor, and add more water, salt and pepper, as necessary.

chicken-soup-12

2. In each individual bowl, place the desired amount of chicken and pasta, cover with a ladle of the soup, and top with parsley.

chicken-soup-2 chicken-soup-1

chicken-soup-15