Chicken Soup with Fennel and Farro
Serves 4 to 6
Bones from one whole roasted chicken (or 5 to 6 cups chicken stock)
2 large fennel stalks, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Few sprigs of fresh thyme and/or sage, gathered with kitchen twine in a bouquet garni
2 bay leaves
1 cup cooked farro (or 1/2 cup uncooked)
1 cup cooked chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
About 2 tablespoons reserved fennel fronds
Place the chicken bones in a large pot and fill with enough cold water to just cover. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Let cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, skimming the scum that rises to the surface. Strain out the solids and discard. You should have 5 to 6 cups of chicken stock.
In a medium-large pot or Dutch oven, cook the fennel, carrots, onions, and garlic in the olive oil. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and cook on medium-low heat for about 8 minutes, or until softened. Add the bouquet garni of fresh herbs, the bay leaves, the cooked (or uncooked) farro, the cooked chicken, and all the reserved chicken stock.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes (or until the farro is tender, if using uncooked farro). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bouquet garni and bay leaves before serving. Garnish each bowl with fennel fronds.