When you think about it, soup is essentially the folk music of the food world. Almost every culture has a traditional soup dating back to a time when taking leftover ingredients and boiling them was a great strategy for feeding many with few ingredients. Chicken soup in particular has stood out for its medicinal properties and remains a favorite for those seeking a nice warm comfortable meal. The music of Antonin Dvorak fits perfectly with this dish as he himself took folk melodies from his native Bohemia–and later the new world–to infuse into his music. The American Suite contains this folk element blending it with a deep rich orchestration which we hope you agree tastes exactly like this Hearty Chicken Soup!

Total Time:
75 min

UNA's Hearty Chicken Soup


-4 cups of unsalted chicken stock 
-4 chicken thighs bone in skin on 
-¼ cup Olive oil 
-1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced 
-6 garlic cloves thinly sliced 
-1 cup orzo/ any small pasta shape 
-½ cup finely chopped parsley 
-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 
-Plain yogurt for serving
-1 Tbsp Miso (optional)


Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towel and season generously with salt. Set aside 

Heat oil in a heavy pot (dutch oven or large pasta pot) over medium high. Add onions, season with salt and cook until golden brown. Add garlic and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes until both are deep golden brown and slightly charred at the edges. Total time should be approx 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and transfer crispy and jammy onion mixture to a small bowl and set aside for serving.

Return pot to heat and add the seasoned chicken thighs, 4 cups of stock, and 2 cups of water. If using, add miso at this point and stir until dissolved. Bring to a simmer over medium high. Once simmering, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes.

Transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board and let cool slightly. While chicken is cooling, taste soup for seasoning and add pasta to the simmering broth and cook until cooked to your liking, 10-18 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the chicken with two forks or your hands and discard skin and bones. 

When pasta is finished cooking, remove from heat and return the shredded chicken to the broth, add parsley and stir in lemon juice.
Garnish the soup with a spoonful of jammy onions and a drizzle of yogurt.

Pairing Notes

Movement I

Find yourself a comfortable seat and prepare for a warm sensory hug. The piece opens with a simple folk-like melody depicting the sun gently leaving an open pasture. You're flooded with a sense of fulfillment at a good day's work and let out a grin as you survey your vast land. Now's your time to try the soup. Feel the weight of the broth and the sensation of orzo slipping across your tongue. See if you can taste the character of the music. Personally I'd leave the onions out of the equation for a moment and savor the flavor of the chicken but you can obviously do as you please. The sun gets dimmer and dimmer as the music slowly fades and now you rely on the warmth of your soup to keep the cold away. Notice how both the music and the soup impact your emotional core at similar depths. They share a sense of weight that you can feel wrapping all the way around you like the deep purple now occupying much of the horizon.

At around 2 minutes you hear a stark change as the character of the melody suddenly becomes mischievous. This is the jammy onions coming through the texture of the soup. Their flavor stands out as foreign but through some culinary hocus pocus fits right in and brings the flavor profile to a new level. At this point I would urge you to explore your soup. Can you can taste the different characters of the music? Experiment with the yogurt, play with the parsley, and see how closely your food adventure can follow the narrative set forth by the music.

As the melody returns to its original motif and the few remaining colors slowly seep from the sky, notice the comfort that this soup provides and let it carry you into the peaceful night. This pairing focuses mostly on the first movement of the suite but the flavors and colors of the remaining movements work equally well with the soup.

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