Chicken Soup

chickensoup

A classic soup loved by many. Did you know it is really easy to make? And you can customize it to suit your tastes! Sometimes we add kale or spinach just to change things up a bit.

This soup is well-known for it’s wonderful healing properties, but only when it’s homemade. The kind you buy in a can is filled with chemicals and preservatives and is rarely healthy, however, you can make your own in not much time at all, and you’ll really feel the difference.

I had never actually made chicken soup before, but a good friend of mine made some and brought it to me. WOW. So that’s what it’s supposed to taste like!

Sweet Pea loves this stuff. She’ll eat bowl after bowl. I can tell pretty quickly if she likes something or not, and this one wins every time.

This soup is also good for your bones and teeth because the bones are cooked with the soup for several hours, so the good nutrients soak into the broth.

Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 organic bone-in drumsticks or 2 hind quarters
  • 2 organic carrots
  • 3 stalks organic celery
  • 1 small organic onion
  • 3 organic bay leaves
  • 2 tsp organic turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp organic cumin powder (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Enough water to cover everything by several inches
  • 1 cup rinsed organic jasmine rice

Dishes Used:

  • Knife and cutting board
  • Pot and spoon
  • Bowl for washing the chicken

Directions:

  • Wash chicken pieces in a good Fruit and Veggie Rinse (I like Sunrider’s b/c it’s non-toxic)
  • Fill a standard stock pot 3/4 of the way full of filtered water and bring to a boil.
  • Add chicken pieces and let simmer for 3-6 hours (or more if you are up for it). Periodically check and make sure there is enough water, and if not, add more until pot is 3/4 full.
  • Remove all chicken pieces and let cool enough to touch. Remove meat from bones, chop and return meat to the soup. (Either compost the bones or you can return them to the soup for the last half hour of simmering and remove them before serving.)
  • Chop all veggies and add to soup. Add the rice and spices and stir.
  • Add any extra water you need to keep the pot 3/4 of the way full.
  • Simmer for 30-40 min.
  • Remove bay leaves and serve warm.

That’s it!

Navy Bean Soup

NavyBeanSoup

I’ve never been a huge soup fan, maybe I had too much of the stuff from a can in my past. Campbells stuff. We used to have to collect labels in school (did you have to do that too?)

I think it was all for a charity, which is great, but I REALLY think it was just the Campbell’s soup marketing department getting children to do some market research for them. Brilliant.

Weeks of work walking through neighborhoods, hounding the neighbors for all their soup labels, keeping track of lists of who gave how many labels… The elementary aged children pounding the streets … uh oh, here they come again, but it’s not girl scout season!

Maybe they had teamed up with the Planters Peanuts fitness program and it was actually just a way to get us in shape.

After eating that much canned soup, we were due for some fitness. Have you ever noticed what’s in that stuff anyway?

Chicken soup is SUPPOSED to be healthy, so why is it filled with MSG, modified food starch and tons of chemicals that I can barely pronounce?

Here is the official list of ingredients in Campbell’s Chicken and Rice soup:
http://www.campbellfoodservice.com/details.aspx?code=207

CHICKEN STOCK, WATER, COOKED RICE, COOKED CHICKEN MEAT, CARROTS, CONTAINS LESS THAN 1% OF: SALT, CHICKEN FAT, POTATO STARCH, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, CELERY, COOKED MECHANICALLY SEPARATED CHICKEN, CHICKEN FLAVOR, ONION POWDER, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, FLAVORING, DISODIUM INOSINATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, BETA CAROTENE FOR COLOR, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, LACTIC ACID, DEHYDRATED GARLIC AND CHICKEN FLAVOR (CONTAINS CHICKEN STOCK, CHICKEN POWDER, CHICKEN FAT)

Yuck.

It’s not just Campbell’s, by the way, I mention them b/c they are so mainstream. Most canned soups have toxins in them from the can liners leeching chemicals into the food. So even if the ingredients look good, beware of the can linings.

Well, THIS soup is not from a can, and I have always loved it.

I remember when my mom would make this and I’d come home from school to the smell of … NAVY BEAN SOUP! She would make so much that she’d have tons of leftovers that she’d store in huge air-tight jars in the fridge and freezer. Once everyone was asleep, I’d sneak downstairs and have another bowl or four. And after school, I’d sneak in yet another bowl.

I wonder if she ever noticed?

Maybe that’s why she made so much.

Now I’m ready to expect the same behavior from my daughter who already loves this soup and asks for it often. A great bonus of this recipe is that you can also double or triple or quadruple the recipe and freeze the extras so you have an easy-to-prepare meal later in the week.

This is a recipe adapted from my Mom’s original recipe to make it vegetarian. If you like pork, you can add in a generous handful or two of cubed smoked ham, but since we do not eat pork, we made this dish completely vegan! And you know every ingredient in it.

This soup is grounding, nutritious and very tasty. And there are no labels to collect. And you can sneak some in the middle of the night because it’s just that good. Enjoy!

Navy Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dry organic navy beans
  • 2 organic carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks organic celery, chopped
  • 3-4 organic red potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
  • 1 small organic onion, chopped
  • 2 organic bay leaves
  • 3 cups organic veggie (or chicken) broth (optional)
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dishes Used:

  • Knife and cutting board
  • Pot and spoon

Directions:

  1. Wash and soak navy beans for at least 24 hours. Then rinse and drain.
  2. Place all ingredients into stock pot, adding enough water to cover the beans and veggies by about 2 inches.
  3. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1.5 hours. Stir occasionally and add water or broth if needed. You can see from the picture the consistency is a hearty soup, not too broth-y.
  4. Taste and add salt/pepper to your liking. Remove bay leaves before serving.

That’s it!

 

Chicken Broth

chickenbroth

Making your own chicken broth is about the easiest thing… ever. And it tastes worlds better than what you buy in the stores.

Chicken (or beef) broth is high in minerals, and can help nourish the body at a very deep level, which is why chicken soup is so popular when someone is ill.

I learned how to make chicken broth because the stuff in the store (canned or boxed, even ready-made) is just not as good as what you can make yourself in a few minutes of your time. Also, the toxins that are leeched by the linings from the cans and boxes can build up in the body over time and cause problems later on. You can read about it in this Consumer Alert, along with many other sources on the internet, including Consumer Reports.

And don’t trust that BPA-free means better… there are still chemicals lurking there. Just make your own. It’s really that easy.

Here is an easy, delicious chicken broth recipe you can use for making soups, rice, beans, green smoothies, dhal, etc.

Just Please Use ORGANIC chicken. There is so much going on now from not monitoring meats in packing plants to injecting animals with all kinds of chemicals and feeding them low grade feed that by cooking them to make broth, you will also be concentrating the chemicals.

Here are some articles you can use to start your own research:

Factory Chicken Chemicals

Arsenic Added to Conventional Chickens

USDA reducing inspections

So if you aren’t raising your own chickens or buying from a local farmer you know, buy organic and you will be pretty safe.

Chicken Broth

Ingredients:

  • Chicken bones from an organic chicken
    I use left over bones from roasted chicken, baked chicken, rotisserie chicken etc, or you can use them fresh
  • 1-2 organic carrots
  • 1/2 organic onion
  • 2 cloves organic garlic (optional)
  • 3 organic kale spines (just take off the leafy part and use it in a smoothie or stir fry)
  • 1 stalk organic celery
  • enough water to cover the chicken and veggies by 4 inches or more
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon organic turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons organic cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon organic ginger powder

Dishes used:

  • Pot and slotted spoon
  • Strainer
  • Container for storing broth
  • Knife and cutting board

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into pot and stir. 
  2. Heat on medium-high until boiling, then cover and let simmer for 4-6 hours (or longer).
  3. Check on it occasionally to make sure there is enough water.
  4. Once it’s finished, strain solids and store the broth in an air-tight glass container.

That’s it!