Old-Fashioned Hen Soup

Old-Fashioned Hen Soup

Making good chicken soup is a real art, but one that can be perfected with a bit of practice and a few tricks of the trade. I particularly like using hens, as they contain less fat than younger chickens. It’s important to soak the hens in salt water for several hours prior to cooking.

2 (3 to 4 lb.) hens (stewing chickens)
8 cups water
1 leek, chopped
6 carrots, sliced into 1-inch-thick pieces
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup tomato puree

Rinse hens and pat dry with paper towels. Remove and discard any excess fat. Place hens and all remaining ingredients in a stockpot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that forms. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 2 hours or until hens are tender. Remove hens from stockpot; cool enough to handle. Remove skin and bones and cut meat into bite-size pieces. Skim off any surface fat and return meat to stockpot. Serve in soup bowls. Makes about 8 servings