Two-Hour Economical Chicken Soup Recipe

two hour chicken soup

“There is no dignity
quite so impressive,
and no independence
quite so important,
as living within your means.”
~ Calvin Coolidge

 

I lived on this soup when I was a university student, back in my sharehouse days, and then again when I bought my first house and every spare cent went on the mortgage repayments.

I used to make this soup because it was yummy, filling and cheap.

Then I began to make it because it was yummy, filling and so easy to prepare from just a few frugal ingredients – great when I was busy and time poor.

Then I made it because it was wholesome and health-promoting, and even on my worst health days I managed to be able to put the ingredients into a pot somehow.

This is a hearty soup, and by the end of cooking the meat will be falling off the bones, and the bones will have given all their goodness to the broth. This is the fastest way I know to make a bone broth!

Over the years it has become an important recipe in my kitchen. It’s one of the soups I’ve made in bulk and frozen, for Ben to reheat for me when I come home from hospital. It’s easy enough that when we run out of frozen soup, Ben will have no trouble in whipping up a fresh batch for me as I talk him through it.

Let me show you how easy it is, so that you can make it too.

 

Ingredients:

750g to 1kg chicken wings, 1 large onion, 2 large carrots, 1 large potato, 3 cloves of garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice or a dash of vinegar, 2 large sticks of celery, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 chicken stock cube or one teaspoon of stock powder, 2 litres of water, 1 cob of fresh corn (optional but really good!), fresh parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper

* Note – organic chicken wings, like all chicken wings, are always heaps cheaper than the more expensive cuts of chicken! o if you’re going organic, this is a budget friendly way to do so.

If you have other vegetables you’d like to throw into the soup, go right ahead. It’s a very accommodating recipe.

Method:

Using a sharp knife cut the wings into thirds. If you’re lucky you may even be able to purchase your chicken wings already chopped into these smaller portions. (I always put the very ends of the wing tips aside to feed to my dogs as a treat, or to go into my stock pot for later.)

Place a slug of oil in the bottom of a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Brown the wings until they are still raw, but have taken on a nice golden colour. You may need to do this in batches. Remove wings from pot and set aside.

chicken wings

While the wings are browning, chop your onion, celery and carrot into a small dice. Mince the garlic or chop finely. Cut the potato into slightly larger chunks so that it doesn’t fall apart in your soup.

chicken soup ingredients

Place the onion, carrot, celery and garlic into the pan and stir on medium heat for a few minutes until they are fragrant and beginning to brown slightly.

Add the chicken pieces, bay leaves, potato, and oregano into the pot and then pour the water over. Add a grind of pepper, a pinch of salt, your stock cube or powder, and a squeeze of lemon juice (or a dash of vinegar – about a tablespoon is good).

It won’t look very exciting yet. It takes time for the magic to happen!

chicken soup fixings

Bring to the boil, stir, and then turn the heat down until the liquid is simmering on a very slow boil. You still want to be able to see some action in the pot. Don’t turn it down so low that nothing is happening! Place a lid on the soup but make sure it is vented. I usually place my lid cocked on the rim, so that it is partially covered but steam can still escape easily and the liquid will reduce a little.

If you want you can vent your lid like this:

Photograph by Donna Curry at www.seriouseats.com

Photograph by Donna Curry at www.seriouseats.com

Or, leave the lid off, but watch your soup so that the liquid level doesn’t drop too low. If it does, no drama. Just add a bit more water.

Leave the soup to simmer for about two hours. Do check it occasionally in case you need to stir it or add a little more water. About ten minutes before serving use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cob of corn. Add the corn and freshly chopped parsley to the soup. Let this cook for ten minutes and then taste. Adjust the seasoning by adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Another little squeeze of lemon juice can also really lift the flavour.

Ladle into bowls and enjoy.

chicken soup made with wings

two hour chicken soup

Coconut Rice Pudding with Banana

2016-04-11 13.23.30

“And to this end they built themselves a stupendous super-computer which was so amazingly intelligent that even before its data banks had been connected up it had started from I think therefore I am and got as far as deducing the existence of rice pudding and income tax before anyone managed to turn it off.”

~ Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

 

This is an easy and delicious pudding for people who need to eat gluten and dairy-free, but who still enjoy the occasional dessert. The pudding can also be easily made sugar-free too.

It is perfectly scrumptious served with just a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg on top, but fresh banana slices and a drizzle of maple syrup make it out-of-this-world good.

Ingredients

400g coconut cream, 600ml water, 1 scant cup of uncooked white rice if jasmine or basmati or 3/4 cup of shortgrain rice (shortgrain rice has more starch and thickens better), 2 tablespoons of sugar or sugar substitute – I use Natvia (or to taste), 1 teaspoon of vanilla, pinch of salt, nutmeg or cinnamon, fresh banana and maple syrup to serve.

*note – if using brown rice use 3/4 cup, extend cooking time, and you may need to add a little more liquid

Method:

Place the coconut cream, water, sugar or sugar substitute, pinch of salt, vanilla and rice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on the stove, over medium heat. Stir occasionally as you bring the liquid to a strong simmer (lots of bubbles but not boiling), turn down to a low simmer (just a few bubbles on the surface) and then cook for twenty to thirty minutes on low heat or until the rice is soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed or reduced. Stir every so often so that the rice doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pot and burn.  Pudding should be thick and creamy.

2016-04-11 12.43.22

2016-04-11 13.18.23

Place in bowls.

To serve plain, add just a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon.

2016-04-11 13.22.15

For best results top with slices of fresh ripe banana and a little drizzle of maple syrup.

Can also be eaten cold. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to three days.

This is so, so yummy and good.

Enjoy!

2016-04-11 13.23.30

2016-04-11 13.24.26

Hot Buttered Apples with Tumeric and Ginger

2015-09-06 12.38.27

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
~ Desmond Tutu

 

This sounds like a tasty and warming dessert, right?

Well, it is, and if that’s how you want to enjoy it, go right ahead, It’s yummy and good for you.

But then again, this recipe is so much more…

Ever suffered from drug-induced nausea, morning sickness, adrenal exhaustion, upset tummy, chemo mouth or a complete lack of appetite when you need to be taking medicine with food?

These apples contain spices like ginger, cinnamon and cloves – that quell nausea, reduce inflammation  boost circulation and your immune system, fight candida and chemo mouth, and aid digestion. The fat from the butter will let you absorb all of the benefit from the turmeric, plus it gives the apples a lovely silky texture. It’s low in sugar, and soft to eat. When you’re sick it’s supreme comfort food that works to help you feel better too.

I usually make a big batch, but you could halve the recipe, or even double it! You can eat it on its own, with breakfast cereal or porridge, or turn it into a crumble. It’s delicious hot or cold, but if you’re not well, warm apples will be easier on your body.

I’ve made two batches today – some for a friend who is going through chemo right now, and some for us to enjoy at home.

2015-09-06 12.40.47

Ingredients:

12 large Granny Smith apples – peeled and sliced, 1 cinnamon quill, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 8 whole cloves, 1 tablespoon ground turmeric, 1 inch of root ginger – peeled and cut into fine matchsticks, 1 heaped tablespoon of butter (grassfed if possible), 4 medjool dates – seeded and chopped, natvia or other sweetener of your choice if desired.

2015-09-06 11.53.52

Place the apples in a large saucepan with about 2 centimetres of water in the bottom of the pot. Add the spices, and dates, and bring to the boil. Then lower heat.

Now add the butter to the apples, and stir through until it melts. Add sweetener if using. I used about a tablespoon of natvia for these apples. Place lid on pot and simmer on lowest heat for ten minutes or until apples are soft.

2015-09-06 11.50.07

Remove cinnamon quill and cloves before serving.

Serve on its own, or with a dollop of yoghurt, coconut cream (my favourite!) or cream and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.

2015-09-06 12.44.23

Turmeric and Ginger Tea Recipe

2015-06-02 11.38.39

“In Ireland, you go to someone’s house, and she asks you if you want a cup of tea. You say no, thank you, you’re really just fine. She asks if you’re sure. You say of course you’re sure, really, you don’t need a thing. Except they pronounce it ting. You don’t need a ting. Well, she says then, I was going to get myself some anyway, so it would be no trouble. Ah, you say, well, if you were going to get yourself some, I wouldn’t mind a spot of tea, at that, so long as it’s no trouble and I can give you a hand in the kitchen. Then you go through the whole thing all over again until you both end up in the kitchen drinking tea and chatting.

In America, someone asks you if you want a cup of tea, you say no, and then you don’t get any damned tea.

I liked the Irish way better.”
~ C.E. Murphy, Urban Shaman

 

Turmeric and ginger tea is a zippy little brew.

I drink this tea daily, first thing in the morning after my meditation, and have found it to be a very useful addition to my healing regime for Lyme disease. It might help you too.

Thanks to the turmeric and ginger, this tea has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It supports your immune system, and liver function. It is soothing to the digestive tract, improves digestion, and boosts metabolism. The lemon ensures that this beverage is alkalinising for your body, and rich with vitamin c and antioxidants..

Maple syrup helps break down biofilm, which is an important benefit for those suffering from borreliosis (lyme disease) and associated bacterial co-infections.

Turmeric and ginger tea is a delightful brew to start your day, and can be enjoyed hot or cold, depending on the weather and your mood. Your liver will love you for it.

2015-06-02 11.39.00

Ingredients for two cups – basic recipe:

A one inch piece of fresh ginger, washed and sliced finely.

A one inch piece of fresh turmeric root, washed and sliced finely.

Juice of one lemon (no need to strain, and lemon seeds are fine, giving their own unique health benefits in your brew)

Two cups of boiling water

One tablespoon of maple syrup – or more, to taste

*Fresh ginger and turmeric are best, but if you can’t source these use the dried powder. 1/2 a teaspoon of each will work, or adjust to your own taste.

Method:

Place all ingredients in a pot and let steep for four to five minutes before consuming.

2015-06-02 11.36.45

 

Optional extras:

If you have adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue, and aren’t troubled by high blood pressure you can also add in  two to three slices of dried licorice root (found in many health food stores or Chinese herbalists or Asian grocery stores). Licorice root also protects and supports the liver, and can aid in treating depression. *Do not use licorice root if you have high blood pressure.

A pinch of cayenne pepper improves circulation and breaks down mucous in the body. It also helps regulate blood sugar. Be careful though, it’s very strong so start with a tiny little pinch.

If you are on a sugar-free diet it is fine to omit the maple syrup. You may also swap it out for honey or stevia.

Hint:

Add more water to the pot and steep again. You’ll get a tasty second brew to sip during the day.

2015-06-02 11.35.29

Easy Stewed Apple Recipe

2015-05-25 18.28.38

“If God had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers.”
~ Linda Henley

 

Stewed apples always remind me of my grandmothers’ kitchens. Both of them were avid fruit stewers, especially when fruit was beginning to get a little old, or soft, or if there was too much to eat fresh, or if it was tart and not so great for eating. Nothing was ever wasted in their kitchens.

Of course you don’t need old apples for this recipe. Any apples are fine. They are a simple and thrifty dessert that is easy and quick to make. Served plain, or with a little cream, custard, yoghurt or ice-cream it is wholesomeness in a bowl. I guess most people call it ‘fruit compote’ these days, but good old-fashioned stewed apples works for me.

I like to make a big pot so that I can have some for a warm dessert and some left over to gift others or to eat during the week. They are delicious served cold, spooned over cereal or teamed with yoghurt for a yummy breakfast. They also make a smashingly good base for an apple crumble. My Nana often served this apple with pork chops or roasted pork too. Both grandmothers served them up to us as children if we had upset tummies or were feeling poorly.

I’ve gone a bit crazy with cinnamon in my stewed apples (much more than what I state in the recipe). Why? It’s a brilliant anti-fungal and anti-bacterial spice, and it helps normalise blood sugar and reduce inflammatory responses within the body – so it’s great for people with lyme disease.

This recipe freezes well, or will keep refrigerated for one week.

2015-05-25 18.32.59

Ingredients:

8 to 10 apples, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or 4 whole cloves, juice of half a lemon, 2 tablespoons raw or brown sugar of your favourite sugar substitute, 1/2 cup of water

*If your apples are sweet to eat you may want to use a little less sugar. If they are tart you may want a little more. Sweeten to your own preference. Natvia works well if you need to be sugar-free.

Method:

Peel, core and chop your apples into wedges. Toss them with the lemon juice to prevent them going brown.

2015-05-23 11.33.14

Place the water, sugar and spices in a large saucepan over medium heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Add apples and stir to coat in the spice mixture. Leave on medium heat until water begins to bubble. Place lid on pan, turn down heat and cook for ten minutes or until apples are soft.

2015-05-25 17.15.50

2015-05-25 18.30.56

This is me in my pyjamas and slippers, eating my yummy stewed apples and yoghurt in front of television last night. Cosy, snug and feeling very nurtured after a big stressful day.

2015-05-25 18.34.09

 PS: How cute are these slippers, although if you look closely the one on the left does look a little gnawed. Thanks, Harry!

Delicious Strawberry and Kale Green Smoothie Recipe

2014-09-05 12.43.23

“Our bodies run on the fresh green fuel of the land.” ~Terri Guillemets

 

Today’s my birthday, so you’d think I’d be blogging about cake, but no. I’ve decided to post something virtuous instead. We’ll get to the cake later. 🙂

I love a good green smoothie. It’s a tasty, easy way to eat whole foods and to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Kids and fussy eaters usually enjoy them too, where they often wouldn’t eat the same vegetables served another way.

If you have a high-speed blender like a Nutribullet, Blendotherm, Vitamix or Thermomix you’ll make short work of putting this all together.

This smoothie recipe is dairy, gluten and sugar-free, but it is creamy and sweet from the berries, and has high levels of protein, Vitamin C, antioxidants, iron, Vitamin K, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids, lauric acid and trace minerals. It will fill you up, is kind to your liver and digestive system, and has beneficial amounts of fibre. Plus – it’s YUM! I often have a green smoothie as a complete meal. It’s a great choice if you’re time poor, or if you’re feeling unwell. They are quick to make, and easy to digest.

PS: Drinking this smoothie also helps you to feel more internally harmonious when you fully expect to be eating cake sometime in the near future…

Ingredients for two generous serves:

1 punnet of strawberries (250 grams or one heaped cup), two very generous handfuls of kale (or your favourite leafy green – spinach is good too!), 1 orange, 2 tablespoons of raw nuts of your choice,  1 and 1/2 cups of coconut water, 1/2 cup of coconut milk or coconut cream)

2014-09-05 12.34.26-2

Method:

Wash the strawberries and kale. Dehull the berries. Add to blender. Remove skin from orange, cut into chunks and add to blender along with all other ingredients. Blend until the drink is smooth.

2014-09-05 12.43.09

Your green smoothie will taste creamy, light, fruity and the very best kind of green. You can seriously feel every mouthful doing you good. Enjoy!

Herbal Tea Recipe for Adrenal Fatigue

ginger tea

“My love affair with nature is so deep that I am not satisfied with being a mere onlooker, or nature tourist. I crave a more real and meaningful relationship. The spicy teas and tasty delicacies I prepare from wild ingredients are the bread and wine in which I have communion and fellowship with nature, and with the Author of that nature.”
~ Euell Gibbons

If there was an herb put on earth to assist those with Adrenal Dysfunction, licorice root is that herb.” ~Dr. Andrew Neville

 

In our modern world of high stress Adrenal Fatigue is becoming increasingly common. It is caused by the adrenals working too hard over too long a time, leading to this system in your body becoming tired and less productive. Adrenal fatigue often goes hand-in-hand with thyroid issues, and it is a common complaint for those with chronic illness such as diabetes, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include decreased libido, mild depression and anxiety, sleep issues, that ‘flat battery’ feeling where rest and sleep doesn’t restore you, feeling rundown, being easily overwhelmed and unable to cope, and feeling generally exhausted and unwell.

This is a very useful tea for supporting your adrenals, and for soothing your digestion and supporting your immune system. The tea is anti-viral and anti-inflammatory for your body. It is also a mild electrolyte, so this tea will help to rehydrate you as well. If, like me, you suffer from Lyme disease, this delicious tea will also aid your body in kicking those bacteria to the kerb!

Dried licorice root is available in many health food shops or Asian herbalists or grocery stores. So too are fresh ginger and turmeric roots.

Ingredients:

6 pieces of raw dried licorice root, 6 slices of fresh ginger root, 2 or 3 thin slices of fresh turmeric root or a pinch of two of dried turmeric powder, a pinch of Himalayan or Celtic salt, a pinch of stevia, a lemon.

*Note – turmeric has a tendency to stain things yellow, so don’t use your best teapot, or your Mum’s prized china!

If your immune system needs a bigger boost feel free to add more turmeric and ginger.

Method:

Place the licorice, ginger and turmeric in a teapot or thermos that holds one litre (4 cups). Let steep for ten minutes. It will go a very pretty shade of yellow.

licorice and turmeric tea

This tea can also be made in a saucepan on the stovetop. Bring licorice, ginger and turmeric to the boil, then turn off the heat and let steep for ten minutes. This produces a stronger tea.

adrenal tea

To finish the tea, add the pinch of salt, the pinch of stevia (or to taste) and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice. For convenience you could also slice the lemon and add a wedge or two to your cup, teapot or water bottle after the boiling and steeping process.

I sometimes make this tea in a 1 litre stainless steel water bottle, replacing the lid once the liquid has cooled to warm rather than boiling. The tea is very pleasant at room temperature. When I have drunk it down to about a quarter full I refill with hot water, and get another batch out of my ingredients. It’s a very easy way to get my water allowance over the day.

herbs