“If you’re blue, have the flu, or can’t seem to … then Chicken Soup is for you.” ~ Anon
Looking for a quick meal to throw together? This is not it! My Heal-All Chicken Soup recipe takes time – 8 to 12 hours minimum. I make this soup as medicine in a bowl…
Home-made chicken soup is filled with nutrients, is easy to digest, and has proven anti-inflammatory ability as well as boosting your immune system (read more about that here).
The beauty of this soup is that it’s a bone broth, and over time all of the fat and water soluble minerals and good bits dissolve into this magical elixir. One of the things this soup is chock full of is glycine. The amino acid glycine is great for liver detoxification and regeneration. Chicken soup is rich in collagen and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), one of which you’ve probably heard of – glucosamine – stunning for artery, bone and joint health. The gelatin produced from dissolving bones and cartilage in the making of this soup helps heal leaky gut, and also reduces your need for meat and protein.
In Chinese Medicine, bone broths are considered to support the kidneys and kidney meridians, and as such are also useful for healthy teeth, bones and adrenal gland function. So if you have adrenal fatigue this is a super recipe for you!
Note: Where possible choose organic and fresh local produce.
You’ll need the following equipment and ingredients:
A large saucepan or crockpot and a colander
Ingredients – First Step
1 whole chicken – best if organic and free range, one onion chopped into quarters (I use a brown onion and leave the skin on), a tablespoon of peppercorns or cracked black pepper, three bay leaves, two large celery stalks, two carrots, a bunch of parsley, a large twist of lemon rind, up to 8 cloves of garlic (don’t be afraid of garlic – garlic is your body’s friend), two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Note – The vinegar is important for helping extract the calcium and other minerals from the bones.
Place chicken in your large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add in your peppercorns, vinegar and bay leaves. Leave this sit while you prepare the rest of your vegetables.
Lightly crush the garlic under a heavy bladed knife, peel off the skins and toss the whole cloves into the pot. Then roughly chop your celery and carrots and add that in with the parsley and onion. Take a large slice of skin off a lemon and throw that in too.
Bring the water slowly to the boil, and then reduce the heat to a slow simmer. Cover and let cook for 2 to 3 hours.
Turn off heat, and let stand for ten minutes, then carefully remove chicken from pot, placing on a large dish until it cools enough to handle.
Strip as much flesh as you can from the bones, setting the skin to one side. Reserve the cooked chicken meat, cover and place in the refrigerator. Then add the skin and bones back into the pot.
Bring the broth back to the boil and then reduce the heat, cover and simmer on very low heat for 6 to 8 hours.
Cool, and strain the broth into a large container. Pick over the bones if you want to retain any more chicken flesh, and then discard the strained contents. I often leave my stock to cool in the saucepan overnight and finish it the next day. This is a sensible idea if you want to complete the second step and make a full bodied meat and vegetable soup.
The soup is now ready to serve as a simple broth, or to use in other recipes as a stock base. It also freezes well.
Ingredients – Second Step
6 to 8 cloves of garlic, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, fleshy part of half a leek, one onion, one to two parsnips, up to one cup of diced pumpkin or sweet potato, some of the reserved chicken meat, another bunch of parsley, the remaining lemon, 1/2 cup of pearl barley, brown rice or pasta/small noodles of your choice (optional).
Pour the broth back into the saucepan. Finely chop your garlic and onion and add that into the pot.Cut the lemon in half and drop that in too.
Then chop your chicken meat and other vegetables into small pieces and place in pot. Finely chop the parsley, and reserve some to sprinkle over your cooked soup. Add the rest into your soup.
If you want, you can add in some pearl barley, rice or pasta for extra body. This turns the soup into a filling meal, but it is also fine to leave out so that the soup is more of a broth consistency.
Bring the pot up to a simmer and then cover and cook for one hour. If you’ve added barley or rice etc, give the soup a good stir a few times during the cooking process to move things up off the bottom of the pot. Top up with a little water if needed, but if the heat is low and the lid is on you probably won’t need to do this.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the lemon halves and discard. Serve soup with some of the reserved fresh parsley sprinkled over the top. The soup can be refrigerated for two to three days – just remove individual portions to heat up, and it also freezes well. Eat and enjoy. Wishing you the best of health! ♥ Nicole xx