This is just your basic chicken soup recipe, but when each component is carefully prepared from the roasting of the chicken, to the making of the stock, to the preparation and addition of other ingredients like the soaked barley, it is truly a masterpiece. I like to make some sort of soup every other week or so (especially during the cold months) because it makes a great “go to” lunch, dinner, breakfast, or snack. Whenever I am too busy to prepare a meal or feel hungry and tempted to eat a pile of cookies or go to McDonalds, I just put my soup on the stove and minutes later I have a nice, delicious, healthy, and nourishing meal.
- 1 whole roasted chicken (4-5 pounds, preferably pastured)
- Bone broth (If you’re in a pinch, you could also use bullion cubes and water.)
- 2 cups soaked barley -or-
- 1½ cups basmati rice
- 3 8 oz cans garbanzo and butter beans (or 3 cups dry beans, soak overnight)
- 2 carrots (cut in half then sliced in ¼ chunks)
- 4 celery stalks (sliced in ¼ chunks)
- 1 medium onion (sliced and diced)
- 3 teaspoons Real Salt (add to taste)
- ½ teaspoon pepper (add to taste)
- Optional: I like to add variety to my soup, so sometimes I’ll add a few garlic cloves, 1 cup chopped leeks, 1 cup chopped bok choy, and/or whatever else is leftover in my fridge that could be chopped up and sounds like it would be good in soup like zucchini, broccoli, parsley, or green beans.
- Bake the chicken. Check out my roasted chicken recipe here, but basically, you’re going to season your 4-5 pound chicken (I use garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and throw a stick of butter in the cavity) and bake at 350° F for 1.5 hours.
- Cut it up. Let the chicken cool, cut it off the bone, and leave to soak in its own juices.
- Make your bone broth. Read more about making bone broth here, but basically, you’re going to low boil your bones, skin, etc. with cold filtered water and a dash of apple cider vinegar (to draw out the minerals) for 24-36 hours (or at least overnight). Then, drain the broth and use it for your stock. I like using a large 7 quart pot for making my broth so that I can use half for my soup and freeze the other half for later use.
- *Pre-cook the veggies. This is an optional step because you can certainly just cook the veggies in the soup, but it adds a TON of flavor. In a large wok, melt some butter then add minced garlic and diced onion, then add whatever vegetables you are using. Season with a bit of Bragg Liquid Aminos, Real Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano powder, and basil powder and cook (covered and stirring often) until wilted but still firm (about 8 minutes).
- Add the veggies and chicken, then pour the broth over. By adding the veggies and chicken first, you ensure that you don’t add too much broth!
- Add your starch. If you’re trying to eliminate starches, you don’t have to add them, but I think it makes the soup taste more complete. If you’re going to soak your barley (which gets rid of phytic acid), make sure you do it properly, especially by rinsing and draining it enough (otherwise your soup will be really cloudy). If you’re in a hurry, you can just go with some quick barley. Barley is the healthiest option, but to mix it up, I like to either add beans (like butter beans and garbanzo beans) or some basmati rice (which has the least amount of arsenic and no phytic acid).
- Bring to a low boil. If all of your ingredients are pre-cooked, you’ll just want to bring it to a slow boil (keep it at about a 3-4, low-medium heat) until it boils, then turn it off and leave it covered. If you need to cook your veggies, turn it down to a rolling boil (keep at about a 3) for about 10 minutes or until the veggies are soft but still firm and the starch is tender.
- Salt and pepper to taste. I like to wait until all of the flavors have had a chance to simmer together before adding my salt and pepper. Then, I’ll add a bit at a time, stir, taste, and repeat until the flavor is just right!
- Enjoy! When everything is just right, get out your bowls and enjoy some soup! It’s also really good to serve some piping hot sourdough muffins with this meal.
Chicken soup make with organic, pasture raised chickens using properly prepared broth and grains is just about one of the healthiest meals you can eat. I love making a pot whether it’s summer or winter for a nourishing go to meal that can last my family through the week. Read more of my soup recipes here or my chicken recipes here.
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