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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chicken Soup for the Cold!

Or the bronchitis…or whatever it is that ails ya!

Basic crockpot soup is so simple. And you can change the ingredients to your own liking. I don’t even really cook with a recipe, but be warned this is a two day process.

I just start like this:

A few weeks ago before leaving on a trip, I took 1/2 of a roast chicken that was left over from a few nights earlier dinner and popped the whole thing in a freezer bag and froze it to save for later. I knew it wouldn’t make it just living in the fridge while I was gone, and there was a lot of meat still left on that roast chicken!

Yesterday, the desire for REAL chicken soup in my mind, I took that frozen chicken, carcass and all, and put it in the crock pot, covered it with water and set it on to simmer until all the meat fell off the bones. I like to add salt and pepper while it cooks down, but at this point that is all I add to it.

When it was done, I strained everything through a colander. Set the meat and the bones to cool a bit, and put the broth in the downstairs fridge so that the fat could rise to the top over night.

I separated the meat from the bones, getting rid of any messy bits. Watch for the little bones, they are in there! Clear out any gristle, cartilage, skin, etc. If pieces of meat are large, you can shred them or cut into bite size pieces. I just go through it with my fingers and tear it up.

Yes, you could do this with boneless/skinless chicken breasts, but really, using the whole carcass gives the soup so much more flavor. Soup made without the bones is just not as tasty.

Refrigerate meat over night.

In the morning, put the meat back into the crock pot. I use a slotted spoon to remove all the gelled fat that collects at the top of the broth, and add the broth back to the crock pot as well. Put it to simmer on high.

Add your veggies! ((And more water if desired!))

I threw in 4 stalks of celery, chopped

A couple handfuls of peeled baby carrots, whole ((I like them chunky! and I add as many as I want))

1/2 of large onion, chopped

You can also add potatoes,turnips, or other root veggies but I didn’t have any on hand, and I planned to add dry alphabet soup mix to it later, so that would take care of my starch quotient!

Season as desired! I always taste before salting and try not to add too much.

I threw in garlic, poultry seasoning, oregano, bay leaves, and some Cajun seasoning for fun! ((Yes my sinuses were dying for a little fix!!)

And this is the fun part:

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Alphabet soup mix! You can get this at the grocery store where the dried beans are, it comes in a little package. OR..you might find it in your bulk foods at whole foods, etc. It’s got rice, alphabet pasta, yellow and red lentils, and split green peas. It really makes the soup GOOD, but you want to add it at the end and only let it cook until the lentils are tender enough or everything goes to mush.

I also found a “make your own ABC mix” HERE!

I added 1 cup of this mixture about 45 minutes before serving time. My carrots were almost done at this point, my celery was still holding shape and not too mushy. Don’t add this too soon, and don’t cook it too long, but it’s great!

It made a large pot full, I’ll freeze what I don’t eat when I leave for New Mexico, and it will be ready to pull out for a quick easy dinner.

Crock Pot Soups just Rock!

10 comments:

laquaqltr said...

You make soup like I do! I think I like to cook with the bones because my belief it that you get some leaching from the marrow which is what is really good for colds.

regan said...

I need to get my crock pot out.....I never use the dang thing! This soup sounds really good.....thanks for all the hints! Hope the soup makes you feel better!

LizA. said...

Ok, now I want soup.....I think will definitely go on the menu for this weekend.

qltmom9 said...

Cooking with the bones also gets you some calcium. I even break the bones to help leeching. I make soup with chicken broth often, but usually just throw whatever veggies need used up in at the point you put the mix. My motto is veggie soup will be good if you have, at least, 7 different vegetables, and the more the better.

Lucy~

Reena said...

I always do that with my leftover roasted chicken from the grocery store- but I do it on top of the stove. I have a crock pot but I always forget I have it! I just about always have a container of nice "jewish penicillin" in the freezer. I get a box of matzo ball mix and throw the dumplings in there sometimes- so good! I freeze a lot of my leftovers as I am single and still cooking for a family!!! Cook once eat 3-4 times...

laquaqltr said...

Forgot to add another tip. I save all my veggie water from boiling potatoes, corn, peas etc anything and everything. Freeze it then when I make soup or stew I use that instead of plain water. Veggies lose some of their nutrients into the water so, when you use it for soups etc you get that added benefit.

Annie said...

I didn't know about the alphabet soup mix! I'll look for it the next time I grocery shop. Your soup sounds yummy!

JCnNC said...

Whatever you do - stay on top of that bronchitis - mine went into pneumonia and I have been out of my sewing room for three weeks now. Just beginning to feel like staying up all day. Homemade soup is always the answer and I could eat it three times a day. Take care of you for us. Judy C

Alcohol Server Certification said...

The soup doesn't looks good... because it's great and delicious! I'll be definitely making this recipe when I got home. It might warm up some cold couples relationship and calm down heated arguments. :)

Claudia said...

You're definitely right about the bones. But I always make my chicken soup with chicken legs only - I buy six or eight of them, and cook them as I would a whole carcass. The skin and meat comes off very easily, much easier than deal with a whole chicken. And it tastes just as yummy. Bonnie, I enjoy your blog very much! Greetings and best wishes from Germany, Claudia.