One of the most glorious displays of affection I’ve been taught is being able to conjure up a pot of chicken soup when somebody becomes ill. I learned this from the human I learn everything from. My sweet mother will make chicken soup for anyone in her life who falls victim to malady. Be it a sniffling nose, achy body, or broken heart, she’s taught me that within a homemade pot of chicken soup there contains properties so nourishing that simply having it on the stove can begin to cure any ailment.
When my poor boyfriend started sniffling so much that even the box of tissues got nervous, I decided it was time to whip up a batch of miracle potion. A fabulous quality about this soup is that it’s totally forgiving if you don’t have every single ingredient. Be it you’re missing a parsnip, or have too many sweet potatoes laying in your pantry, this soup makes use of every flavor added to the pot in such a way that measurements become arbitrary.
My humble soup needs only time for it to be decadent. As with all great things in life, the longer you let it simmer, the richer it will be. Requiring only two pots, it’s easy to clean up and makes a bounty of bowls for easy weeknight dinners.
A nourishing, cold-curing, heart-healing soup for those in need of something comforting and magical.
For the chicken stock
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 whole chicken, giblets removed Mary’s organic if possible
- 6 stalks celery
- 3-4 whole carrots
For the vegetable base
- 15 peeled rainbow carrots
- 1 tin crushed and peeled tomatoes
- 5-6 peeled sweet potatoes
- 10 stalks celery
- 3 whole parsnips
- 3 cups egg noodles
Place the whole raw chicken in a large pot. Cover with with just enough cold water so the chicken is submerged. Drizzle about 3 tablespoons of olive oil into the pot as well. Then, add more salt because chances are you didn’t actually add enough in the first place. Add unpeeled carrots and celery to the pot. Bring to a boil and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Cover with a lid and let simmer.
Peel all your carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes. I like this soup with larger, un-cut vegetables, but if you’d like to cut them in half before adding them to the pot, please feel free. Add all the vegetables to a large pot separate from the chicken. Cover with water. Season with more sea salt, pepper, and herbs.
I like to add turmeric to my veggies because I’m a health snob that way and believe in the power of curcumin. Make sure if you’re choosing to incorporate that you add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and just a touch more black pepper so that the components of the turmeric can be absorbed by your body!
After both pots of chicken and vegetables have been sitting for at least 90 minutes (the longer the better!), it’s time to mix the two. Carefully drain the pot with the chicken through a colander and into a bowl. You don’t want to get rid of the liquid as this will be the base for your soup. Discard the veggies from the chicken pot as they only serve to bring out more flavor for the broth. Once your liquid has been separated from the chicken, using tongs or gloves, remove and place the chicken on a cutting board to cool.
Dump approximately half of the liquid from the vegetable pot out. Carefully incorporate the chicken broth into your large pot of simmering vegetables. Once your chicken has sufficiently cooled, using tongs or a fork, remove the meat from the bone and dump it into the pot with your vegetables.
Once all of the meat has been removed, open a can of rinsed and peeled tomatoes. Drain about half of the liquid, then pour the other half plus the tomatoes into the pot. Now is a perfect time to add more salt, pepper, a small gull of olive oil and any other herbs.
With all of the ingredients happily swimming together, cover and simmer for another 10-20 minutes. If you want to add noodles, boil and cook according to their instructions. Remove from heat, and serve with a hunk of crusty bread.
Transfer the soup into an air tight container — I like using a large mason jar — and place in the fridge to store for leftovers. This soup will last you for forever. If you want to make the soup last a little longer, you can continue adding veggies or chicken and boiling the ingredients together to create more servings. If you find that your soup has suddenly become chicken-less, my tip would be to buy a rotisserie chicken, remove the skin (and eat it on the side!) and debone the meat into the pot. Same goes for carrots, just peel some more and dump them in. Let boil for at least 30 minutes to have all the ingredients incorporate together.
My mom’s original chicken soup utilizes whole onions in the stock and the soup itself. If you love this flavor, simply peel and cut one whole onion in half. Add to the chicken stock along with the other veggies, as well as the cleaned and trimmed pot of veggies. Noodles are also not totally necessary with this soup as it’s so hearty without them. But if you’re an original soup and noodles human, egg noodles are the ideal. Just cook and have some ready in the fridge if you’re reheating for leftovers.