Published March 1, 1996.
For a full-flavored chicken soup recipe that could be made in less than 90 minutes, we borrowed an idea from an Edna Lewis recipe, beginning by sautéing a chicken, minus the breast (which we used later as meat for the soup), hacked into small pieces, rather than by simmering chicken bones, aromatic vegetables, and herbs for hours. The pot was then covered and the chicken and onion cooked over low heat until they released their rich, flavorful juices, 15 to 20 minutes. Only at that point was water added, and the broth was simmered just 20 minutes longer. Cutting the chicken into small pieces was the most difficult step in this quick chicken soup recipe. A meat cleaver, a heavy-duty chef's knife, or a pair of heavy-duty kitchen shears made the task fairly simple.