Chicken Vegetable Soup
If you are feeling overloaded from holiday food and looking for something light to get your digestion back on track, or if you have been battling with a low immune system all season, then this is just the soup for you. What better for digestion and immunity than homemade chicken soup, made with a whole chicken, bones and all.
While with soup makes a great base if you’d like to add noodles or rice, without any heavy starchy components this soup stays super light, simple and satisfying. Even though it take a little while to simmer, the recipe couldn’t be easier with only 8 ingredients!
Chicken Vegetable Soup
~1 medium onion (1 and 3/4 cups chopped)
~5 medium carrots (1 and 3/4 cups chopped)
~1 medium celery heart (1 and 3/4 cups chopped)
1 whole chicken, about 3 lb
1 and 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
2 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 bay leaves
1 and 1/2 tsp chervil or other dried green culinary herb
Cooking time: 2 and 1/2 hours
Active time: 30 minutes
Yields 6-8 servings
Rinse, trim and chop your onion, carrots and celery in roughly the same size pieces. Save all the trimmings such as roots, skins and end pieces, those will be used to build the broth.
Set the chopped veggies aside in a bowl and place the trimmings into a large pot, at least 5 quarts, along with the black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon of the sea salt and the bay leaves.
Rinse the chicken well and remove anything that may be inside, typically the neck, liver and kidneys are included. I used all of those in the broth as well, which is optional, just make sure if they are in a bag to removed them before adding to the broth.
Add the whole rinsed chicken into the pot along with the trimmings and cover with water, which should be about 12-16 cups (3-4 quarts.) Bring to a boil and reduce to a very low simmer. Simmer for 1 hour, flipping the chicken halfway through.
While simmering, if any foam forms on the top of the broth skim it off with a large spoon and dispose of it. This will keep the broth clear and clean tasting, I find very little foam forms as long as the simmer is kept low.
After an hour remove the chicken from the pot and let cool on a cutting board for at least 15 minutes before pulling the meat off of the bones. Return all the bones and skin back to the pot of broth, along with another 1 teaspoon of sea salt, continue to simmer 1 additional hour.
Tear the white and dark meat apart into spoon-sized pieces so they will be easier to eat. Cover and set aside.
Once the broth has finished simmering cut the heat and strain to remove all the solids, I do this with a colander over a large bowl, then strain again through a sieve. Dispose of the solids that were strained from the broth.
In a different large pot or the same one you cooked the broth which has been cleaned out, turn the burner to high heat and spoon a few tablespoons of fat from the top of the broth where it naturally pools. It’s okay if there is some broth mixed in, this is just being used to soften the vegetables.
Add the chopped carrot, celery and onion into the hot chicken fat along with a final 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Saute until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Then reduce to medium, add in the 1 and 1/2 teaspoon dried chervil (or another dried green culinary herb you have on hand, such as parsley or oregano) and saute an additional 2 minutes.
Add the strained chicken broth back into the pot with the cooked vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Then turn off the heat, add in the chicken pieces and serve warm or let cool and store in sealed containers in the fridge for the yummiest leftovers ever.