Knock hours off of the cooking time and still end up with soup that tastes even better than from-scratch. Just start with a rotisserie chicken and chicken broth from the can or carton.
I have developed a basic formula, so whether I feel like a simple chicken noodle soup, a more elaborate curried chicken-vegetable soup, or an Italian-inspired chicken tortellini soup, the directions, proportions, and method are the same.
Actually, because the Fast Chicken Soup Base makes almost 4 quarts, you can prepare two different soups, if you'd like. Just use half of the soup base and half of the suggested ingredients in the chart, then proceed as directed. Let the remaining soup base cool before covering and refrigerating up to three days. Then try another "soup du jour," using half the ingredients called for.
These soups (at right) are warm and comforting enough to heal the sick, but they are really intended for the work-weary cook who needs to prepare a soul-satisfying meal in a bowl--quickly.
Copyright 2004 USA Weekend and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.