chicken soup

I have a small Kenmore oven. It’s just big enough to roast two chickens—two chickens because I plan to have a week of sandwiches. It takes no longer to roast two than one. More important, I’ll have homemade chicken broth, as the incidental result of serving roast chicken is more than a pound of chicken bones.

It’s easy to make broth, and the processes allows me to use the bones from the chickens as well as cast-off bits of vegetables; the core of a cabbage, parsley stems and celery leaves.

Because stuffy noses and sore throats happen without notice, I freeze broth. Sick people will need chicken soup.Chicken Soup

My family likes to have soup in the winter months and I enjoy making it. Homemade chicken soup is super healthy – and when you make it,  you’re in charge of the ingredients. Most soup recipes are quick and can be made ahead. Having the soup at-ready means we have time for after-school swim practice or if we’re not out, we’ll make corn bread, tortillas, or wheat rolls with the soup.

If saving-time and feeling less wasteful are not reason enough to try making broth, how about health benefits?  There have been a lot of studies into the health benefits of Chicken Soup (I wonder if the studies were done because the researcher’s moms told them to?) The studies found chicken soup (the homemade kind) had a positive effect on neutrophils, the most common type of white blood cells. If you’re very interested in the results of these studies, they are available online at The Chest Medical Journal.

celery for chicken soup

Other than the chicken bones, what goes in the stock pot?

Just about any late vegetable, especially the cabbage type. But not the choice parts. When making broth use the cores, stems and imperfect vegetables.

• chicken bones
• carrots(two cups, pieces)
• celery(center stalks and leaves)
• parsley (stems are fine)
• one large onion, quartered
• cabbage core and/or cauliflower core and/or broccoli stem

Combine all ingredients, add enough water to cover the contents of the pot (8-12 cups), and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer. Simmer not less than 1 hour. Strain to extract all the broth. Adjust seasoning to taste (salt and pepper) when preparing as soup.

If you have a pressure cooker, use it for making broth. The cooking time is reduced by half, and the broth is just as good. Maybe better.

Pressure Cooker Instructions:

Combine all ingredients, add enough water to cover the contents of the pot. (8-12 cups) Bring to pressure on high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain to extract all the broth. That’s it!

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