It’s almost the beginning of fall, and for many people, that means it’s soup season. Right now it’s 100 degrees in Los Angeles but a bowl of soup tastes good anytime. Fall is also the beginning of cold and flu season and nothing makes you feel better than a warm bowl of chicken soup, the Jewish penicillin. I like to get creative with mine, and rather than serve a clear broth with a giant matzah ball, I add plenty of chopped vegetables and fresh herbs instead. The recipe I created below is called Homemade Bone Broth Chicken Soup with vegetables.
- 1 whole chicken with giblets (optional)
- 1 whole unpeeled onion
- 2-3 celery stalks and leaves cut into 4-5 inch pieces
- several sprigs of parsley with stems
- 2 Bay leaves
- About ¾ pot full of homemade Chicken stock strained and with fat removed
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 1 turnip chopped
- 2 large carrots chopped
- 1 can (14¼ oz) of corn with juice
- 1 can (14¼ oz) green beans with juice
- 1 small can (14¼ oz) of crushed tomatoes
- 3 cloves chopped garlic
- chopped sage, rosemary, thyme and parsley to taste or dried if fresh is not available
- 2 bay leaves
- pepper to taste
- Coarse salt to taste (I like Celtic or Pink Himalayan sat)
- 1 cup dry egg noodles
- 2 cups of fresh spinach stemmed and cleaned
- Put the whole chicken with giblets into a large soup pot and cover it with water.
- Add 1 whole unpeeled onion. 2-3, 4-inch celery stalks and leaves, 1-2 large unpeeled carrots. several sprigs of parsley. and 2 bay leaves.
- Bring the pot to a boil and simmer on low for 3 hours or more.
- Let the broth sit until cooled.
- (optional) Refrigerate overnight to let flavors congeal.
- Remove the chicken and other large pieces of vegetables and place them into a large bowl.
- Remove the meat from the chicken and place it into another large bowl.
- Discard the chicken skin, bones, and vegetables.
- Strain the broth using a sieve into a bowl or large pot.
- Let it sit for a while until fat rises to the top.
- Skim off the fat using a large soup spoon or a fat skimming pitcher.
- Place the skimmed and defatted broth into a soup pot.
- Add 2-3 cups of stewed chicken meat to the broth in the pot.
- Add the chopped celery, turnip, carrots, can of corn with juice, can of green beans with juice, can of crushed tomatoes, garlic, fresh herbs, 2 bay leaves, pepper, and salt.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 1 hour until the chopped vegetables are tender.
- Adjust the seasonings to taste
- add the egg noodles and cook for 10-12 minutes until tender.
- A couple minutes before the noodles are ready, add the spinach.
- Serve or let the soup sit overnight so that all the flavors congeal.
The benefits of eating bone broth
There wasn’t anything on TV the other night so I started skimming my DISH Network, which has WAY too many channels. I clicked onto KCET and it was featuring Doctor Axe talking about “eating dirt” and the benefits of bone broth. He claims that bone broth helps treat leaky gut, overcomes food tolerances and allergies, improves joint health, reduces cellulite, and boosts the immune system. Hmmm! There’s a reason that chicken soup has healing qualities! Dr. Axe also sells bone broth protein powder.
Eating dirt doesn’t mean you chow down a plate of garden soil. It’s more about not over sanitizing your food, eating probiotics like kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut, consuming raw honey, mushrooms, vegetable peels etc. He also recommends you get a dog, swim in the ocean and walk barefoot more. That way you build up immunities to common diseases.
I kind of like this guy.
It’s interesting that hand sanitizer was banned from being marketed by the FDA recently. Too much sanitation makes you more prone to disease than less prone.
People in longevity hot spots around the world like Italy and Greece have been cooking up bone broth for thousands of years. Simmering bones, marrow, skin, feet, tendons, and ligaments for hours and even days, releases its collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine that are necessary for good health. However, most manufactured bone broths contain meat “flavors” and way too much salt and preservatives. Some contain MSG.
Making the soup
What I like to do is boil up an entire chicken. (sans head and feet) By now you vegetarians and vegans are probably reeling. Sorry about that. The good news is; you can also make broth by boiling down vegetables. It just won’t have the collagen and other benefits that bone broth has.
No matter what type of bones you use, it’s always best to make sure the animal hasn’t been fed antibiotics or hormones. Grass-fed, free-range, and organic is always best. Once the meat and bones have been boiled for hours, let the bone broth sit for a while so the flavors congeal. Once it’s cooled I stick it in the refrigerator overnight. Then, I remove the meat and bones and any vegetables used for seasonings, run the broth through a sieve and remove the fat either using a spoon or a defatting pitcher.
I separate the meat from the bones and place it into a bowl. Then, I use some of it to put back into the soup and the rest for chicken salad sandwiches or other dishes. I also like to save some for my dogs. They LOVE it when I make chicken soup. It’s good for them too. I make sure to pick out the giblets because that’s their favorite.
It’s even better for you with lots of vegetables
When I make soup I use any type of vegetable I have in the house. I also throw in cans of corn, green beans, and crushed tomatoes, because the juice in the cans flavors the soup. Just make sure your canned vegetables are organic or as pure as possible. If you like, throw in beans, rice, or noodles.
Next time you come down with a cold, the flu or pneumonia, or simply want a healthy meal, boil up some homemade bone broth chicken soup and add lots of vegetables. It’s good for you.
What do you like to put in your chicken soup? Please leave a comment below.