Recipe: Rose Cali's Chicken & Vegetable Soup
I am really lucky to have so many great teachers and friends in my life. Almost 30 years ago I met Rose Cali at a fundraiser for the Montclair Library. Rose was wearing jeans and laughing as usual, helping bands of kids navigate the jumpy castle. While my very little boys jumped and leapt, Rose and I connected instantly despite a twenty year age difference.
That day, Rose invited me for one of her eclectic Italian Sunday suppers. There is no one as welcoming and as delicious a cook as Rose. What she can do with some garlic, a tomato, and olive oil is epic. Her beautiful husband John, who passed at 95, would put potato chips in a silver bowl that Rose undoubtedly found at a flea market upstate. He would pour drinks in beautifully mismatched cups that might have once been candlestick holders. Authors, baseball players, football players, college presidents, talk show hosts mingled with family, neighbors and friends from everywhere at the dinner. Rose’s warmth and relaxed attitude instantly made everyone feel comfortable and happy.
Mother, grandmother, godmother to my youngest, she does it the Rose way. As our friend Yogi Berra said, “You see a lot by observing,” and both my husband and I have really adopted the Cali style into our life. It’s about warmth and what matters.
I love her approach to entertaining, life, parenting, and family. Everything Rose does is open, easy, smart and real. Here, Rose shares her recipe for Chicken and Vegetable Soup. - Bobbi Brown
Rose Cali's Chicken & Vegetable Soup
Each ingredient in this recipe adds a slight subtlety to the broth, without overpowering the palate. The soup can be made without chicken, which will cut about 20 minutes from the cooking time. You can also serve the soup with noodles or rice, but instead of adding to the broth, place cooked noodles or rice in individual serving bowls and ladel the soup on top. Keep the rice and noodles moist before serving with a touch of olive oil.
- 1 1/2 quart low-sodium chicken, vegetable or bone broth
- 1 1/2 Vidalia sweet onions, chopped
- 6 celery stalks, chopped
- 6 peeled carrots, cut crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces
- 2 large zucchini, cut crosswise into 3/ inch pieces
- 1 cup of sweet cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup of fresh chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 bunch of fresh tarragon, off stalk
- 1 organic chicken with skin, whole or in pieces
- Olive oil, to coat the pan
- In a large pot pour the olive oil to coat the bottom, about 1/4 inch. Heat it up until hot, be careful not to overheat. Add the onions, ginger and celery. Saute until slightly glistened, be careful not to brown. Add broth/stock to the pot.
- Add the chicken to the broth. You may need to add more stock so it covers at least 2 inches over the chicken. Bring to a boil and add salt and pepper. Lower the heat and bring to a gentle boil/simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes for a richer flavor.
- Remove the cooked chicken from the broth and allow it to cool slightly. Remove and discard the bones and skin. Break the chicken into bite size pieces.
- Add the carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, cilantro and curry to the broth. Cook for several minutes until they are tender.
- Place the chicken back into the pot. Stir in the cilantro and the tarragon. Cook for 10 minutes to integrate the flavors.
- Serve with or without grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top.