Make this Recipe for Homemade Chicken Soup Full of Love for a loved one to show how much you care.
There’s no better way to show you love someone than by cooking for them. I truly believe that. When you cook for someone, they know you’ve taken the time to shop for the best ingredients, prepare and cook the food, and shared it with them.
Recently, one of my friends had a horrible cold when I saw her at church and I offered to make her some chicken soup. Rich chicken broth has long been known as the famous Jewish penicillin that’s a remedy for the flu. What makes chicken broth healing? Well, first, there’s the minerals of bone and cartilage, and electrolytes from the vegetables. Then, there’s the natural gelatin that forms from cooking bones which contain collagen. The more gelatin there is in the stock, the more body it will have. When chilled, the broth will gel; the firmer the gel, the more gelatin there is. Chicken wings (especially the tips) and chicken feet have more collagen than other parts, so if possible, I try to mix some in with the rest of my chicken bones.
Recently, bone broths have become all the rage, selling for as much as $4 for a cup of chicken broth. There’s actually no real mystery in how to make chicken broth from scratch. The key is to use lots of bones (including wings or chicken feet), and some meat. Roasting the bones gives the chicken broth a deep, rich color, and I think a lot more flavor. Adding chicken wings or chicken feet gives the soup a more substantial body from the rich collagen. If you have a butcher nearby, ask them for chicken bones and chicken feet – they’ll often sell them to you at a reasonable price.
As I was making this soup for my friend, I tried to think of what other ingredients I could toss into the pot to make it even more healing and healthy. I happened to have a few knobs of fresh turmeric I picked up from Whole Foods the other day out of curiosity, so I tossed one knob into the soup pot. I also threw in a piece of kombu (a type of seaweed found in Asian markets and Whole Foods), which is rich in minerals, a few slices of ginger (good for digestion and for fighting colds), and a pack of white mushrooms for flavor and because they’re supposed to help promote healthy metabolism.
This chicken soup is a two step process but I think it results in a soup that’s more rich in minerals than your typical chicken soup. A combination of roasted and raw chicken bones and vegetables are first cooked together to make a rich chicken broth; then strained. More vegetables are then added to the soup, along with even more bones from the chicken breast you roast, which is added at the end.
You can tell how rich this chicken soup is. When it’s refrigerated, it turns into a nice thick gel. That’s the good stuff.
I saw my friend this past weekend at church and she looked and sounded so much better. I’m not saying my chicken soup was the cure-all, but she did say it made her feel so much better. Whether it was the soup, or the love she felt, it doesn’t really matter.
- 1 roasted chicken carcass
- 1 pack chicken wingettes
- 2 carrots,
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 onion
- 1 10-ounce pack mushrooms, trimmed and halved
- 2 pieces ginger, the size of a quarter
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 black peppercorns
- 1 knob fresh turmeric (or ¼ teaspoon dried turmeric)
- 1 4" piece kombu, wiped off with a damp cloth
- 1 whole chicken breast on the bone or 2 split chicken breast pieces
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 carrots, peeled, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 celery stalks, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 potatoes, peeled, cut into bite size pieces
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place Chicken Broth ingredients in a large pot and cover with water; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, while you roast chicken for the soup.
- Meanwhile, rub chicken breast with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; roast 25-30 minutes until just cooked through. Remove chicken from oven; let cool slightly; remove meat from bones and put bones and skin in soup pot. Shred cooked chicken breast.
- Let soup simmer for 2-3 hours. Alternatively, you can cook soup in the pressure cooker for 1 hour. When done, strain soup and return to pot. Add carrots, celery, onion and potatoes; cook until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Add shredded chicken breast to soup and warm through.