A Writer’s Got To Eat: Homemade Chicken Soup With Vegetables

by @thewritermama on January 12, 2016

Is there anything better during the long, cold gloomy winter than homemade chicken soup?

Perhaps not.

I’ve been enjoying a batch of what I think is my best soup yet, so I thought I’d spill my secrets.

Here goes.

Homemade Chicken Soup With Vegetables

One or two picked over roasted chicken carcasses (home-roasted or store-bought or both)

Any of the following that you have in your crisper, chopped: onion (any type), carrots, celery, greens, fresh herbs (like thyme, parsley, and rosemary).

Break apart carcass and place in large stew pot. Add chopped veggies and herbs. Cover with organic chicken broth and/or water to just cover the ingredients. Add a hefty shake of both salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours. Your home will smell great and you will feel cozy and inspired.

Turn off broth and allow to cool to room temperature. Put a strainer over a storage container and pour broth through. If you are concerned about bone splinters, strain the broth into a large bowl with strainer, then strain it again through both a strainer and a layer of cheesecloth (or a finer strainer if you have one).

Refrigerate broth overnight. A layer of fat will accumulate. Skim it off with a large, flat spoon.

Put your stew pot back on the stove. Add your homemade broth plus one quart of the best quality organic chicken broth you can find. Heat to boiling and add:

  • One large chopped onion
  • One large handful of carrots, chopped
  • One large handful of celery, chopped

Simmer veggies until just barely cooked. Do not overcook because you will likely be reheating your soup and it’s nice if the veggies stay slightly crispy. Then add:

  • One bunch of rainbow chard leaves, chopped
  • Half a bunch of parsley leaves, chopped (use half for broth and half for soup)
  • One small bag of petite organic peas

Simmer a few minutes until peas are cooked. Again, do not overcook your veggies.

I like to add a good amount of chopped freshly cooked chicken because I like to get a bite of chicken in every spoonful. So I will usually purchase another freshly roasted chicken and chop up about half the meat using both white and dark meats. But if you have a lot of chicken meat leftover from the chickens you boiled, go for it.

Taste soup and add salt and pepper to taste. Be careful not to over-salt your soup, folks can always add more salt later. I don’t think it’s possible to add too much pepper, but you can try.

When serving, add cooked brown rice, white rice, egg noodles, or pasta to each bowl. Usually I’m an egg noodle girl, but lately brown rice has been tasting good.

You may need to heat each serving bowl in the microwave to make sure your soup is piping hot (this is why I suggested not over-cooking the veggies).

I like to serve my soup with a garlic loaf from the bakery, sliced, toasted, and buttered. But any bread, warmed or toasted, and/or crackers will make a nice addition.

Otherwise, this is pretty much a meal unto itself.


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