This soup is heaven. The smell when you are cooking it will make anybody go hungry. We call it 'bolitas' soup because in Spain it is normally prepared with pasta shaped as tiny balls, a bit like cous-cous. It is my children's favourite soup. We cannot find the little balls in the shops o we do it with pasta shaped like 'little stars' which is great too.
- the left overs from a roast chicken (or a chicken thigh and leg)
- 200 gr 'serrano' ham (it is not worth spending a lot on this so just ask for any left overs of a ham in the supermarket - the bone is actually very good for this)
- one onion
- one leak
- one carrot
- 6 green beans (you can miss this if you wish)
- one bay leave
- one handful of chickpeas
- one quarter of a pepper ( preferably green, but red is fine too)
- a little bit of parsley (half a teaspoon)
- water (1.5 l)
- pasta shaped like starts.
Put all the ingredients but the pasta into a pan with the water. Bring it all to the boil and then lower the heat to its lowest setting and let it all simmer for 2 hours (if you do this with a pressure cooker one hour will be enough).
Get the soup though a colander and dismiss all the solid bits (if you have used proper chicken rather than left overs you can use it in a chicken salad) This liquid keeps for a week or so in the fridge.
Whenever you want to use it, bring the liquid back to the boil (if you find the taste too strong you can solute it with water), add the pasta (a handful for two persons) and let it boil for 8-10 minutes until the pasta is soft.