As the end of summer nears and the school’s start back up, a virus of some sort is bound to come knocking on your door. We try to “let food be thy medicine” around here to keep healthy, but sometimes it still sneaks in. My daughter’s been fighting a stomach flu and I’ve been hard pressed to find “real food” for a sick belly. We’ve made our own Pedialyte type drink to keep her hydrated, but sometimes, you just need a simple, nourishing chicken soup to soothe the belly.
There are two important parts to bring out the best from this soup. Using the whole chicken, bones and all, is very beneficial to health, regardless of whether you’re fighting a virus or not, especially when your meat comes from a naturally-fed, healthy animal. Secondly, it’s great to use fresh herbs and garlic as simple, potent remedies full of antibacterial, and other beneficial properties. Plus, you just can’t beat that authentic flavor!
2-3 tbs freshly chopped sage
2 tbs fresh thyme
2-3 tbs freshly chopped oregano
2 tbs freshly chopped cilantro
1 bunch green onions
1 large onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove
10 baby carrots, or 2-3 regular sized carrots
4 red or golden potatoes
1 whole chicken
salt and pepper to taste (start around 2 tsp each, and then taste test to find out whether it needs more)
Fill large pot (8 qt) halfway with hot water, and bring to boil. Place chicken in pot and boil on high for 15 minutes. Use this time to chop your other ingredients.
After 15 minutes, pour contents of the pot into a colander. Par boiling the chicken removes the floaties from the top of the soup, and will give you a clean, non-murky broth as a base for your soup. Rinse off your chicken, and fill the pot with water halfway again, placing the chicken back inside. Bring to a boil and add the chopped herbs, veggies, salt and pepper.
Once all your ingredients are inside, lower your heat to a simmer. The pot can be left on the lowest heat, and slow cooked all day, or can be cooked at a light boil for about an hour- hour and a half. Once fully cooked, taste test your broth to make sure the chicken has infused it’s flavor throughout the soup (Careful!! It’s hot!), and add additional salt and pepper, if needed.
Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and place in a deep dish pan. Separate the meat and shred it with a fork, then place the meat back in the pot.
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