Hearty Chicken Soup

hearty chicken soupThis is a delicious soup that is full of vegetables and your choice of noodles or rice.  It is heavy enough to be served as a meal. I make a big pot of it and then freeze the leftovers.  We eat it all year round.  It, of course, is good when you are nursing a cold in the winter.  But it is also delicious in the summer if you come in late and want something really good in a hurry.  Hopefully, it will be in your freezer.

There are a lot of recipes where you can use pre-cooked chicken and chicken broth, but the flavor and heartiness will never equal the recipe below.  It takes a while, but once you make it you will see it is well worth the effort.

Cook a whole chicken (about 3 ½ pounds) that is fully immersed in water.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 6 hours. 

Add to the water the following ingredients:

  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 3 stalks of celery, washed
  • 3 large carrots, washed
  • Salt, pepper, parsley, garlic powder, and sage to taste

The reason we cook the whole chicken is because the marrow in the bones adds a flavor that is utterly delicious. The marrow in the bones is considered by some to be the healing property that cures the common cold.

Remove the chicken and let it cool for about 15-30 minutes.  Remove the meat from the bones.  Pour the broth from the pot into a container through a strainer.  Discard the vegetables in the strainer.

In the same large pot, sauté in a small amount of oil:

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 chopped carrots
  • 2 chopped stalks of celery
  • Add back into the pot the saved broth from cooking the chicken.

Then add the chicken, making sure there are no bones in any of it.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat.

Season with salt, pepper, and fresh parsley.  If there is a spice you like in chicken soup in addition to those mentioned, this is the time to add it.  Also if you like wine in your soup, add about a cup of white wine at this point.

If there are any other vegetables you like in soup, now is the time to add them.

Cook soup until all the vegetables are soft.

At this point you can add rice or noodles or you favorite pasta.  Continue cooking until the pasta or rice is soft.

Be prepared if there is anyone in the house when you are cooking to want to eat before it is done as the smell will drive you crazy.

This is an old-fashioned method that needs to be started early in the morning if you cook it in a regular pot on top of the stove.  It is well worth the time and effort.  If you use a slow cooker or a pressure cooker, this same recipe can be used.  You just need to make the adjustments for taking the whole chicken out and deboning it and then returning it back into the slow cooker or pressure cooker.  If you use the wine, make any adjustments that need to be made according to your method of cooking.

I usually make this in a large soup pan that is part of a cookware set that I have.  Here are some cookware sets if yours needs updating or you don’t have something large enough to make this in.