1 large whole chicken, with giblets
2 Spanish onions, quartered
2 celery ribs, cut in half
2 small or 1 large carrot, cut into large chunks
2 leeks, cut in half lengthwise, well rinsed
2 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 large bay leaf
3 garlic cloves
12 black peppercorns
1 tablespoon rock salt
To Serve (for 4 servings)
5-10 handfuls of small pasta (pastina) or arborio rice
4 handfuls of shredded kale, cavolo nero, or savoy cabbage
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Rinse the chicken and giblets in cold water and put in a tall pan with the other ingredients, Fill with cold water until the chicken is completely covered, about 12 cups. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer gently for 11/2 hours until the liquid has become a delicious stock and the chicken is falling from the bone. Adjust the seasoning and drain the liquid into a separate pot. Remove the chicken and giblets.
Pick the meat from the cooled chicken and set aside. To feed 4-5, drain off half the soup. This can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer when cool. I keep it in the refrigerator and use it for a meal later in the week. Bring the broth to a boil and add 1 – 2 handfuls pasta or rice per person and one for the pot. Follow pasta package cooking times. About 3 minutes before the pasta fully cooked, add the kale and a handfull of picked chicken meat per person.
Chop and add the giblets to servings for those who like them. Serve the soup in large bowls and dust with the grated Parmesan cheese.