1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 3-1/2 pounds) If I want to save a little time I will use about 5 chicken breast
5-1/2 quarts water
4 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
bacon strips, diced
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium onion, chopped
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups cubed peeled potatoes
1 tablespoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
Place chicken, water and bouillon in a Dutch oven or soup kettle. Cover and slowly bring to a boil; skim foam. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from broth; let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove 1 cup broth and set aside.
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to paper towels to drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. Saute the carrots, onion and asparagus in drippings over medium heat until crisp-tender. Add to kettle along with the potatoes, salt, thyme and pepper; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Combine flour and reserved broth until smooth; stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove chicken from bones; discard bones and skin. Cut chicken into thin strips; add to soup along with cream and parsley. Heat through (do not boil). Sprinkle with bacon just before serving. 16-18 servings