Chicken soup is a great meal for when you’re sick, and is something you can easily make from scratch. Chicken stock can be made with leftover scraps in your kitchen, and takes only a few minutes to prepare. Most stock is made from 3 ingredients – carrots, onion, and celery. In French this is called mirepoix, or in Italian as soffritto, and forms the base of nearly all soup recipes.
Step 1: Cut the Veggies
Coarsely cut the vegetables and put them in a large stock pot with the chicken carcass. You can use the scraps of vegetables too – carrot and onion tops and bottoms, celery stems, etc. You’re boiling them down for flavour, so you can use up any scraps you have, if you have them. Same thing with the chicken, if you have a whole chicken or turkey for dinner, save the carcass in the freezer and use it for stock.
Step 2: Brown
Put a little oil in the pot, and cook the vegetables and chicken on medium-high until they’re all brown. The brown parts are caramelizing all the sugars in the veggies, so you want to stir and turn them so everything gets browned.
Step 3: Add Water
Once everything is browned, cover it with water, and season with salt and pepper. Heat until boiling and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 2-8 hours. The longer you simmer, the more flavourful the water will become.
Step 4: Remove the Veggies
Keeping all the liquid, remove all the veggies and discard or compost them when they’re cool. Remove the chicken carcasses. If there’s meat on the carcass, you can pick it off and use it for the soup.
Step 5: Make soup!
The stock is done, and you can save it or freeze it, but if you want to make soup, add diced carrots, potatoes, and noodles, and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the chicken back, and season as you like. Thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I add barley, because it’s very filling, but barley needs to boil for 10 minutes before you add the vegetables.
If you want to save it for later, you can pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze it, then keep it in a ziplock bag until you need it.
Loving the city, but longing for the farm, Melissa has made a hobby and a habit out of living sustainably, and DIYing, all while enjoying the perks of living in the big city. From Vancouver BC, she posts about making your own homestead from the smallest condo, and bringing farm living to rapid transit.
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