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La Mercerie, in New York City, is perhaps most wondrous in the spring: the restaurant’s in-house florist, Emily Thompson, adorns the place with colorful creations in full bloom, and the aqua banquettes match with the gradually warming skies just visible from the windows above. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, La Mercerie is closed, just like so many other restaurants. But Chef Marie Aude-Rose is still determined to share her favorite seasonal recipes.
The gourmet cook is at home, sheltering in Paris. Whereas once upon a time she had a state-of-the-art restaurant kitchen and a staff, now she’s cooking smart and sensibly, relying heavily on pantry staples and avoiding excess trips to the grocery store. One of her go-to meals? A light, homemade chicken soup—it’s comforting and economical, with most of the ingredients likely already in your kitchen.“This delicious super healthy recipe is a great way to use your leftovers. As we all eat home every day now, it is important to get creative with what’s in our fridge and not waste any part of it,” Aude-Rose tells Vogue. “The vegetables I chose were the ones that were in my house that day except for the fresh fava beans that I went to get specifically for giving the recipe a real taste of spring.”
Below, see Aude-Rose’s spring chicken soup recipe, with a set of instructions via Instagram video. Bon appetit! (And, if you’re a fan of the chef’s cookware and dishes, you can find them on the RW Guild website.)
Spring Chicken Soup (Serves 4)
800g of fava beans
1/4 white cabbage
1 large shallot
1 garlic clove
2tbsp very good olive oil
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Leftover roast chicken
Mint, chervil, or any fresh herb
Carrot or celery (optional)
With your roasted chicken from yesterday make a broth with the bones. You simply cover them with cold water, add the green part of a leek, a clove garlic, maybe a carrot or celery stalk and a tbsp of coarse sea salt. Let it simmer for 2 hours, pass it through a sieve, a cloth or colander. Your broth is ready.
With 2lb of fava beans, take the beans out of the pods and cook them for 3mn in salted boiling water. After that remove the beans from their thin skin. Fava beans are ready.
Cook 2 leeks in salted boiling water for 25mn, drain them and chop them into 1 inch bits. Leeks are ready.
Burn 5 large leaves of cabbage in a dry pan until they soften a bit , a few droplets of water will come out from the leaves. Cut into 1 to 2 inches squares. Cabbage is ready.
Peel and thinly dice the shallot. Shallot is ready.
Wash the herbs, dry them and chop them thinly. You want to have 2tbsp of both mint and chervil. But really any fresh herb will bring great flavor to the soup.
Thinly slice the leftovers of roasted chicken and evenly spread into 4 large bowls or deep plates.
Season the fava beans with the shallot, chopped herbs, olive oil, zests of lemon, 2 pinch of salt and some freshly cracked pepper. Spread in the bowls.
Add the leeks and cabbage squares.
Boil the broth and adjust seasoning ( salt and pepper). Pour over the garnish.
Add a few drops of lemon juice in each bowl.