My family has escaped the flu this winter... until now. Even in tropical south Florida we are not immune to the winter flu. I write this blog now complete with body aches, runny nose, and a cough that mirror those symptoms of my daughter; we are a family in need of some serious TLC. As Hipprocrates said, "Let food by thy medicine, and medicine be thy food." Amidst the echinacea, sambucus drops, and Advil, we find the most comfort in one of the best medicines I know... homemade chicken soup!
The great thing about homemade chicken soup is that you really can't mess it up. A little more of this, a little less of that, it's still so good. Every family has their own version. Here's what I threw in my latest homemade chicken soup...exact measurements vary (a lot).
4-5 lb whole organic chicken
25 organic peeled baby carrots chopped
6 stalks organic celery chopped
1 large organic yellow onion chopped
6 large organic garlic cloves chopped
1 large bunch organic Italian parsley chopped (stalks and all)
3" ginger root peeled and smashed
3" tumeric root peeled and smashed
sea salt seasoning to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
ground cumin to taste
herbs de provence (without lavender) to taste OR dried oregano
Cook all of this together in a pot for about 1.5 -2 hours. Use a strainer to drain the broth out of the pot when it's all done cooking. Now you can take out the chicken and put it in a separate bowl and do the same with the veggies. Once everything has cooled off enough to touch it, you have to go through (with very clean hands) and throw out the bones and fat. Go through the veggies and make sure there are no little bones in there. While you are doing this the broth will start to cool a bit and you will see the fat pooling on the surface. Every now and then get a spoon and remove the fat from the surface of the broth. Once you have the chicken meat and the bone-less veggies, throw them in the broth and you're done. It is a process, but chicken soup is definitely a labor of love. Enjoy every nourishing bite.
Note: I used to use a chicken soup base that came in a jar, but it has yeast extract in it. I really avoid yeast, so instead I like to use a generous amount of the sea salt seasoning. I don't always use the ginger and tumeric roots, but they add so much flavor that less salt is needed. Also, ginger and tumeric have amazing anti-inflammatory properties so they really do a body good.
If you have a chicken soup recipe that you love, please share it!
Here's to your good health and good wholesome food as thy medicine.
Mary Evert, Creator
Below is my chicken soup from the recipe above. And, it's in my favorite Maryland crab bowl.. bonus. :)
Here is a beautiful, shiny ginger root