“Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.” Auguste Escoffier
“Soup is the song of the hearth… and the home.”
Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’ (1949)
Homemade chicken soup: it’s not only good for the soul but also the flu! A warm bowl of it contains rejuvenating nutrients and proteins that may otherwise be difficult for a flu ridden and nauseous stomach to digest.
Whether you find you like to make large batches, or enjoy simmering a pot every few days, you’ll need a large stock pot with a lid. Stainless steel and enameled cast iron are very good choices.
A word on ingredients. Find and use the best ingredients affordable to you. Bones and carcasses from free range pastured animals are the gold standard, which we’ll talk about in an upcoming post.
Remember, eating healthy broth need not be an expensive endeavor. Our farmer sells pastured beef bones for $1.00/lb and chicken carcasses for $2.00/lb. That’s a great deal! Despite being carcasses they are absolutely loaded with meat and frankly it’s enough for our soups and stews – no need to add any extra.
Basic Chicken Broth / Stock
- 1 whole free range chicken, or 1 organic chicken carcass or 2-3 pounds chicken parts i.e chicken feet, necks or scraps
- 1 large onion quartered
- 1 head garlic, rinsed and cut in half
- 3 celery stalks coarsely chopped
- 2 washed, unpeeled sweet potatoes or yams, cut into thirds
- 4 carrots coarsely chopped
- 1 strip kombu – optional : this is a great source of potassium and iodine and minerals
- 12 or so black peppercorns
- 1 or two bay leaves or several generous sprigs of any fresh herbs you have on hand, thyme, sage, oregano are great
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (this acidity allows more minerals to leech from the bones)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Rinse all vegetables well. Place chicken, carcass or parts in a 12-quart or larger stock pot. Brown on low heat briefly on all sides. Add vegetables and herbs and fill pot with cold water, about two inches below the rim. Add vinegar or lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Remove the lid, decrease to low heat and simmer for at least two hours. Some of the water will evaporate.
Strain broth through a coarse sieve. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. Will store in refrigerator for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for 4 months.
Once cool, the fat will separate to the top, you can remove this and use it for other purposes.