Easy Peasy Chicken Soup!! These cold winter days...
'tis the season to make a big pot of soup at least once a week! I thought I'd share one of the easiest ways to make homemade chicken soup when your time is limited. I'd call this one a "shortcut" recipe! Obviously, it would be great if you could do the whole thing from scratch, but let's face it, folks--sometimes you can't. This one's for for you, the Busy, Time-Strapped Person! (and aren't we all, some days?!!)
Easy Peasy (Shortcut) Chicken Soup!
1 roasted chicken
a bunch of vegetables you love, or ones you happen to have in the refrigerator. The usual suspects: carrots, celery, onion, zucchini, mushrooms...(can also add beet stems and or beet greens or chard, or any other veg you love!) Use what you love; don't use what you don't.
2-3 T of a healthy fat you love: ghee, pastured butter, schmaltz, bacon fat, lard, duck fat...coconut oil, etc.
2 quarts chicken or other stock...
good salt and freshly ground pepper
thyme...or oregano or rosemary or basil or a combination...dried or fresh. 1 T dried or 3 T fresh...
tomatoes...diced or ground. (I love the new tomatoes in glass jars...Bionaturae is one brand in glass...no BPA for me!) optional but a delicious addition!!
Making the soup: A basic template
1. Purchase an organic roasted chicken. (Yes, I said "purchase". Remember, this is a shortcut recipe. Yes, purchase it at your local supermarket..WF carries them...so do other stores. Some offer only "natural" roasted chickens. Neither are the best. The best would be a chicken that you roasted yourself that was raised on pasture eating bugs and supplemented with non-GMO feed. The next best is an "organic" chicken...which means only that the feed was organic--the chicken may never have eaten a bug in its life. Chickens are omnivores... A nutritionally inferior chicken for your soup, but better than a "natural" chicken. One can probably bet that those "natural" chickens were fed GMO feed...and it says nothing about their quality of life. So the choice is yours. Do the best you can and then make peace with your choice.)
2. Place desired fat in a 4-5 quart Dutch Oven, over medium-low heat.
3. Dice (into uniform sizes) about 3-4 carrots, 3-4 celery ribs, one medium onion, 2 medium zucchinis, a handful of mushrooms. (Organic is best...)
4. Add the carrots and celery first, along with about 1 tsp. Celtic or other high trace mineral content salt; cook over medium-low heat with the lid on for about 5-7 minutes.
5. Add the onion, zucchini and mushrooms. Cook about 4-5 minutes with the lid on.
6. Add 2 quarts of chicken stock you have in the freezer. (I know, I snuck that one in on you. If you don't have chicken stock in your freezer, very sad. However, since this is a "shortcut" recipe, you could purchase some from the store or from your local farmer! Just be sure to get "pastured" stock--and check the ingredients. Stock should only be bones, vegetables, water and salt or herbs. Some brands are sneaking in cane sugar, soy protein and/or MSG. Read the ingredient labels!! The front of the box does not always tell the full story.)
7. Bring the stock to a boil and skim and discard any scum. Lower the heat to medium.
8. Add the chicken meat, which you diced while everything else was cooking. (About 2 cups) Add the tomatoes if you are going to use them. Add the herbs at this time, additional salt and about 4-5 good grinds of pepper. Heat the soup through for about 10 minutes.
9. Serve with a dollop of cultured cream, yogurt, ghee or pastured butter in each bowl.
BTW, you can use this recipe as a template for any other meat you have around...beef, lamb, etc. Just be sure the flavors of the fat, the stock, the meat or poultry, and the herbs/spices all complement each other. :)