|Jen's Special Bone Broth Chicken Soup|
Divas, I'm back!
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I've had a whirlwind year with my two books publishing—The 13th Continuum & Return of the Continuums. I won my first book award (pinch me!). Did tons of readings and signings. Started teaching creative writing class for The Writing Pad. Needless to say, that's taken a lot of time and energy away from my cooking pursuits.
Slowly, but surely, I've been coming back to food. How can I stay away? I love it too much. I hope to start posting my recipes again, maybe once a month. I'll see how it all goes!
I made this chicken soup at the height of cold and flu season (doing lots of public events = lots of germs). I got requests for the recipe, so here you go! Keep in mind that you can throw in whatever veggies you happen to have on hand. You can also add beans (I love putting white beans in soups). You could add quinoa or rice. Really, it's whatever floats your boat.
For this iteration, I did use my homemade chicken bone broth that I make in the slow cooker overnight. First, I make a whole chicken, one of my fave slow cooker recipes. Then I save the meat we don't eat for soup and return the carcass to the slow cooker, cover it with filtered water and a tablespoon or two of raw apple cider vinegar and cook it on low overnight. The next day, I strain it and BOOM—amazing homemade bone broth. My recipe has some fancier things you can throw in with the chicken bones, but it's fine with the extras.
Okay, so the next day I have 1) chicken meat and 2) chicken bone broth. Now we make soup! Yes, you can use store bought broth BUT it won't taste nearly as good. I buy my chickens primarily from a vendor at my farmers market that specializes in grassfed/pastured meat. I'll buy three or four at a time and keep them in my freezer. Yes, they're more expensive. But you can actually taste the difference.
Of course, store bought will work. Trader Joe's sells organic whole chickens at a very reasonable price point. A whole chicken can stretch to two or more meals easily.
Chicken Soup for the Soul (or Mild Cold)
Serves 4 to 8 people
Cooking time: about 25 minutes
2 cups chicken meat (cooked & pulled into pieces for soup)
2 cups red potatoes, halved or quartered
1 cup frozen peas
3 cups raw spinach
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
about 4 to 6 cups of chicken stock
fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary & chopped Italian parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
optional garnish: ground turmeric
1) In a large heavy-bottomed stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute until beginning to soften (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the potatoes and cover with the chicken stock (about 4 to 6 cups depending on how much broth you like in your soup). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
2) Add the frozen peas, spinach, chicken pieces and herbs and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, recover, and cook for another 5 minutes or until the greens are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3) Serve with a dash of ground turmeric and chopped parsley. Enjoy!