Hello Winter! Looks like you want to pull up a chair and stay for a while.
For those of you outside Toronto, just so you are with me here, today is -18 degrees celcius (0 farenheit) and we are expecting close to 20 centimeters of snow (7 inches). If there were ever a day to stay at home and cook up a big pot of chicken soup, well, today would be it.
This post easily could have been called "Love In A Bowl", as that is essentially what homemade chicken soup is, but any time I can use the phrase "I <heart> chicken", I do.
The ability to make chicken soup is like a right of passage. My grandmothers both made delicious chicken soup and when I was living in LA a couple of years ago, the first thing my mom did when she came out to visit was to make a vat of chicken soup for me to have on hand.
Of all the chicken soups I have ever had, no one’s is better than my mom Patsy’s. Every family meal at my parent’s house begins with a bowl of chicken soup. There are jars of frozen soup in my freezer, my brother and sister-in-law's freezer, my parents’ freezer, even the freezer at the cottage. You just never know when you may have an emergency on your hands that can only be helped by a bowl of chicken soup.
Chicken soup is more than just a traditional Jewish remedy. Bone broth is actually a superfood, densely packed with vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins in a form that requires no digestive strength from your body to break down. It alkalanizes your system which lends to a healing internal environment and perhaps more important than any of these things- it is warming and comforting.
With the blistery Winter storm upon us, and nuttyness of the holidays, make a batch now, enjoy some today and put the rest in the freezer for a quick, easy, healing, light meal. With permission from my mom, here is her super powered soup recipe with a few additions by me.
- Momma Patsy's Amazing Chicken Soup
- 1 chicken cut in 8, skin removed. Make sure you get the back. For a more economical version you can ask your butcher for a couple of chicken carcasses. You may want some extra pieces of white meat with the bone for cutting up later and eating with the soup or using for sandwiches).
- 6 large carrots peeled and cut in ½ inch pieces
- 2 parsnips peeled and cut
- 1 onion cut in 4
- 1 bunch fresh dill
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 2 zucchinis, sliced
- 1 whole garlic bulb - cloves peeled
- 4 celery stalks, sliced in 1 inch pieces
- 2-3 leeks
- 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar (optional- helps draw minerals out of the bones)
- 2 Tbs Coconut Oil(to help absorption of fat soluble vitamins and anti-microbial properties)
- 2 inches, sliced ginger root (anti-inflammatory properties and warming)
- 8 cups of water or until pot is full
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Note: Amount of vegetables depends on how much you can fit in the pot. You can use as much as will fit.
- Put the chicken and/or bones in a pot covered in cold water and bring to a boil (this is to remove and cook away the blood and icky stuff). If using bones leftover for a roast chicken or turkey, you can skip this step.
- Pour out the water, rinse the chicken, clean the pot.
- Put chicken and everything else into the pot including about 8 cups of water, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer for at least 2 hours or up to 8. The longer you simmer the soup - the more concentrated the healing benefits. You want the soup to be gelatinous when it is cooled- this gelatin is very soothing to the digestive tract.
- Let it cool down and pour through strainer.
- Remove from strainer any chicken, carrots or other boiled veggies you wish to add back in to your soup.
- Place in fridge over night to allow fat to settle on the top.
- Skim fat off surface of soup with a spoon and paper towel.
- Heat and serve.