When I was little, my mom always made me homemade chicken soup when I was sick, and I loved it! It's a really strong memory for me so I've continued the tradition. Whoever is sick at our house, gets warm blankets, lots of fluids, as much TV as he or she wants, soft tissues, and homemade chicken soup. :)
I think there's nothing better than eating steamy hot soup when you're feeling lousy. Plus, since it's hard to get any real nutrition in (that is especially true for my daughter), I feel good serving my chicken soup which is packed with fresh ingredients. Plus, the best part... it's simple to make, you end up with a lot in one batch, and it's so delicious.
HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP
Makes about 8 bowls of soup
For the stock
- 16 cups of water
- 1 whole chicken - about 4 pounds (I like Mary's Air Chilled chickens because they have so much flavor)
- 2 large carrots
- 2 leeks
- 1 onion (we used 4-5 purple young spring onions)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 small bunch of celery (4-6 stalks)
- 1 tablespoon of dill
- 2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 12 oz bag egg noodles
- 1/2 cup sliced carrots
- 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken (from making the stock)
- 2 teaspoons dill for garnish
Directions for the stock:
Add 16 cups of water to a large pot. While the water is coming to a boil, break down the chicken and add the individual pieces including the backbone and the neck.
Once it comes to a rolling boil, turn down the heat to a low simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Skim off the froth. Now add the rest of the stock vegetables to the pot.
(I do a very basic job with the vegetables. I cut the onions in half. I cut the green tops off the leeks and cut them in half. I cut the bottoms off the celery and throw in the stalks including the leaves. And I split the carrots in half lengthwise, then cut them in half.)
Next add the soy sauce. My mother didn't do this, but I think it brings a nice umami flavor to the stock. If you like your stock salty (like me) add an additional 2-3 teaspoons of salt.
Let the stock boil for about 45 minutes, or until you can see the chicken is cooked and coming off of the bone.
Turn it down to a simmer for 1 1/2 hours, salting to taste.
Using tongs, pull out the chicken pieces. Let them cool, and pull off the meat. Set the meat aside to use later in the soup. Throw the bones back in the pot, and cook for another hour.
Strain the stock until it's clear, and let it cool before you put it in the refrigerator. I set the bowl in the sink with some ice to speed this up. Once cool (I usually leave it in the refrigerator overnight), the chicken fat will have risen to the top and solidified. Scoop it off with a spoon.
Directions for the soup:
Preparing your egg noodles. Reheat the stock with some of the cold chicken pieces added back in and about a 1/2 cup of thinly sliced carrots. Boil until the carrots are soft (about 10 minutes).
Garnish with pinches of dill. And watch your family get better quick!!
Also, last year I had my Vitamin D levels checked and discovered that I was very deficient. I know... How can I be deficient in the "sunshine" vitamin when I live in California? Well, I'm also a hat wearing, sunscreen slathering woman, who spends a lot of time at her computer indoors.
Since going onto Vitamin D supplements, my immune system seems to be much stronger. I've also put my daughter and husband on Vitamin D, and maybe it's a coincidence, but I feel like we've been much healthier this winter. Has anyone else had the same experience?
Wishing you lots of good health and good eating!!
This cold and flu season, make the care complete with Kleenex® brand, and together we’ll turn a seemingly small gesture into something bigger, to make everyone feel better.