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Last winter, we had found some canned chicken soup that we liked at Sam’s Club and so I always made sure I had a few cases on hand. They came in handy when we were unlucky enough to get a stomach virus that even took out hubs and I.
I was all prepared to do the same this year until I found the best chicken soup recipe ever. I’ve been on the autoimmune protocol diet and the first recipe I tried was from Mickey Trescott’s Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook. It was fabulous! And crazy easy. Honestly, you could make it even if the kids were sick. Maybe even if YOU were sick.
Storing Chicken Soup for Emergencies
So here are 2 easy ways to get super nourishing, healthy chicken soup on the table when your family comes down with a bug.
- Freeze soup by the quart. I use quart canning jars but you could use plastic containers just as easily. You could also can it, but I prefer to use my freezer :).
- Prep ingredients for several pots in your freezer. To do this, I bought whole chickens and the giant bags of celery, carrots & onions from Sam’s Club. Chop up all the veggies so all you have to do is dump them (frozen) into the soup pot. As a bonus, they soften quicker once they have frozen.
Healing Chicken Soup Recipe
I never NOT tweaked a recipe so this is my adaptation. I always used to consider soup a good use for leftovers…veggies on the tail end of life, leftover chicken bones, etc. As Alton says, this isn’t a place for garbage.
This recipe yields a fabulous, gelatin chicken -rich broth full of onions and garlic. Consider this recipe to be medicine and use GOOD ingredients, well-sourced & organic if you can.
- 4-5 lb chicken, check for giblets & neck
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cloves/2 tsp garlic, chopped
- 1 Tblsp salt
- 6 carrots, sliced
- 6 ribs of celery
- Dried Parsley, to taste
- Dried Basil, to taste
- Black Pepper, to taste
This is so easy you can’t believe it. Put chicken in the pot and add water so that it is just barely covered. Add onions, bay leaf, garlic & salt. Bring to a boil, then cover & lower to a simmer.
Cook for 1 to 2 hours. Strain the broth pulling the veggies & bay leaves out. Don’t forget to save the broth!!!
Put the broth back in the pot & add the carrots & celery. Cook until carrots & celery are tender.
Meanwhile, pick apart the chicken carcass. Personally, I like to put the white meat in the soup & eat the dark meat as a snack :).
Once the veggies are tender, add the chicken to the pot. Taste to see if more salt is necessary. Also adding a little pepper, parsley, or basil will up the ante, too. Cook for a few minutes longer and then eat up.
I always think if you have to cook once, it should feed you twice. If you’re going to make a big chicken and vegetable soup for lunch on Monday, you stick it in the refrigerator and it’s also for Wednesday’s dinner.
Now honestly, how easy was that? I’ve made 3 pots of this and every one has been fabulous. And super easy. I already have 7 quarts in the freezer and veggies prepped for 3 more. This is a healing soup if there ever was one.
When we got back from vacay in September we all got a bit of a cold/cough/sore throat and I had a cup 3 times a day for 2 days and licked it. Everyone else suffered for a week or more. True story.
You MIGHT even be able to put a frozen chicken in the pot & cook it longer. I haven’t tried it yet, though, so if you do, let me know how it works!
Do you keep chicken soup on hand for illnesses at your house?