Chicken Soup for the Soul

All over the world, chicken soup is known for its healing properties. The anti-inflammatory properties of a good bone broth are excellent for the gut (the health of which we know is linked to the health of the brain) and packed with immune-supporting minerals. Both restorative and therapeutic, this one-pot meal with aromatic vegetables and herbs is slow-cooked so that it can deliver the nutrients in a super easy-to-absorb form. And then, of course, there’s that comforting taste of nostalgia – it makes me smile, relax and feel good all at the same time J

All you need is a really big pan to fit the whole chicken and veggies in. So here goes:

  • 1 x 1.8kg chicken
  • Lots of water (approx. 5 ½ pints or 3.15 litres)
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small leek, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • Small bunch each of flat leaf parsley and dill, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

OPTIONAL:

  • 2 handfuls of egg vermicelli or spaghetti, broken into bits (if gluten free, use quinoa or rice spaghetti)
  • 4 oz of frozen peas

AND IT’S SO EASY TO MAKE:

  1. Rinse the chicken and place in a very large saucepan. Cover with water until it reaches at least 8cm (3in) above the surface of the chicken. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim off any froth that comes to the surface.
  2. Add the rest of the soup ingredients (apart from the parsley, dill and noodles, if using) and bring everything back to the boil, then turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 1 ½ hours.
  3. Carefully remove the chicken (use a slotted spoon) to a large dish and leave to cool slightly. Using two forks shred the chicken from the bones and set aside (you can reserve the skin and bones to make another stock).
  4. Cover and simmer the soup for 30 minutes. Add all your shredded chicken meat to the soup, along with the parsley, (if using add the vermicelli and frozen peas) and cook through for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the dill and ENJOY.

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