Homemade chicken soup.

As I write this, there’s a big pot of homemade chicken soup bubbling away on the stove. We eat this all winter long. It keeps up (mostly) healthy throughout those cold wet months. The long simmering of the chicken bones draws out the calcium and other minerals that we need. It’s also chock-full of gelatin and collagen which are so good for our guts.

Here’s how I make it:

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First, I make a stock: 

Put a chicken frame, some chicken necks and wings, and a whole chicken in a big stockpot full of water. Add a dash of apple cider vinegar (to help draw the minerals out of the bones). Leave it for about an hour.

Add the following to the pot, then bring the pot to the boil:

  • 2 brown onions, skin on, roughly chopped 
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 sticks of celery with some leaves still attached, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a small knob of ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a teaspoon black peppercorns

After this has reached boiling, turn down and allow to simmer for 8+ hours. I often put mine on one afternoon and leave it go all night. For the first couple of hours some scum will rise to the surface. Skim off frequently.

In the morning, it’s time to strain the stock and make it into soup! Discard the cooked vegetables/bones but keep the chicken meat for later.

After you’ve strained the stock, it should look beautiful and yellow. Some people refrigerate and allow the fat to set on top, to scoop off, but I don’t bother with this.

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For the soup: 

Add a bag or two of lentils/soup mix/whatever you like and simmer in the stock until cooked.

Chop lots of vegetables and add to soup. I usually add:

  • 3 carrots
  • 5 sticks of celery
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • a small knob of ginger
  • 1 red chilli
  • a small sweet potato
  • 1-2 zucchini
  • 1 capsicum

You can use whatever veggies you like. Sometimes I add some rice noodles too.

Simmer until the veggies are cooked, then add cooked chicken back in. Allow soup to cool then pour into containers to store. I usually fill four 4 litre ice cream containers. I keep one for the coming week in the fridge, and freeze the rest for the following weeks. We both take this soup to work for lunch in a thermos, 1 container lasts us about a week.

There certainly is a bit of work involved, but I think this is the best way to make a healthy, immune-boosting winter soup. Do you make chicken soup?

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