For centuries folk-lore has extolled the extraordinary healing properties of chicken soup. And for good reason. Vegetables retain the maximum amount of nutrients when cooked in soup. That is because you are eating both the vegetables, and the water they were cooked in. Soup really is, good food.
The broth is the best part of this amazing soup. Not only does it have the goodness of the vegetables, it also contains the minerals and collagen from the bones. Bone broth has long been known to be a richly medicinal food. It is given for acute illnesses like the cold and flu, as well as many chronic conditions like auto-immune disorders, and leaky gut.
Chicken soup is also a way to extend one meal into two or even three meals (the leftovers make a great lunch). Organic chicken is expensive. You want to get as much out of it as you can. Whenever I roast a chicken my family knows that, within a few days, we will be having chicken soup.
This soup is my youngest son’s favorite. Sam, when he was 2, told me “This soup makes me happy.” It came out more like “Dis thoop makes me hoppy.” I wish I had it on tape to play on constant repeat. It makes me happy too.
chicken– cooked with meat taken off
chicken– 1 cup, cooked and chopped
carrots– 9, medium or large
lemon– 1/2 a lemon
white onions– 2 – organic
garlic – 3 cloves smashed
celery– 4 stalks
apple-1 cored and sliced
kombu– 2 pieces. This is a Japanese sea vegetable. I include it all of my soups and stews. It doesn’t add a lot of flavor but it adds a ton of nutrients to the broth.
water– 12 cups (for stove – use 8 if you’re using a crockpot)
thyme- 1 bunch
rosemary– 3 stems
salt & pepper– to taste
apple cider vinegar– 1 tablespoon
Roughly chop 3 of the carrots, the celery and 1 onion (keep the skin on). Put in a large pot, or a 6 quart crock pot, with the chicken bones, rosemary, thyme, lemon, kombu, apple, garlic, apple cider vinegar and water.
If you are using a large pot on the stove, bring the water to a rolling boil and then turn temp down to medium-low. Leave it there, with a top on, for around 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
If you are using a crockpot, put it on medium for 10-12 hours. The joy of the crockpot is that you can throw all of the ingredients in in the morning, and then leave for the day, knowing you won’t burn the house down (I know. I saw that episode of This Is Us too. That was an old faulty crockpot…). I also think it seals in more of the flavor, and nutrients, than cooking it on the stove.
Strain the entire contents of the pot or, crockpot, through a colander and discard the solids.
Finely chop the remaining onion (skin off this time). Saute the onions in a large skillet with avocado oil or ghee, until the onions are translucent.
Combine onions and 1 cup of the broth and blend in a high speed blender Add that mixture to the broth on the stove.
Chop the remaining carrots into bite-size pieces.
Add the carrots and chopped chicken. Bring to a boil and then lower the temperature to a low-medium. It will need to cook for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots are softish. But not mushy. I like carrots with a little density.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Additionally, you can add brown rice noodles like Tinkyada or Jovial for a traditional chicken noodle soup.
I like drinking just the broth for breakfast or I take it to work on a cold day. It also makes a great lunchbox item for the kids. I put it in an 8oz insulated thermos. It’s like getting a warm hug for lunch.
By Tapp Francke