There is hardly anything more satisfying on a cold day than a steaming bowl of chicken soup. It is great to sip while you are reading a good mystery, psychological thriller or other book. It is easy to make. Here’s how I do it. I use organic chicken and vegetables, and I don't mind if a little soil stays on the vegetables—minerals are good for you.
One 3 to 4 lb whole chicken, skin on.
6 to 8 stalks of celery, leaves on
3 large carrots
1 large yellow onion
1 medium turnip
1 large sprig of fresh thyme
Several stems of fresh Italian parsley
1 bay leaf
Several green and red whole peppercorns
Sea salt to taste
3 to 4 quarts of filtered water
Chop celery, carrots, onion, & turnip in large pieces and place in a large stockpot. Do not peel anything, even the onion. The skin imparts a lovely caramel color to the broth. Add the water and turn the heat on high. Meanwhile, rinse the chicken and pull off the fat near the tail. You can discard the internal organs or use them for something else (my dogs devour them after I boil them), but I throw the neck in the stockpot, too. Place the chicken in the pot. Add the bay leaf, thyme, parsley, peppercorns, parsley, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover. Let the stock cook for 2 to 3 hours. Afterwards, strain the stock in a large colander. Save the stock, discard the cooked vegetables and shred the chicken meat.
In a saucepan, add the amount of stock you want for soup, freeze the rest. Add a generous potion of white and dark chicken meat. Slice 1 or more large carrots on rounds and add to saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add noodles of your choice or cooked rice. Trisha Yearwood published her mother’s recipe a few years ago that has frozen or fresh green peas in it. I love this touch and recommend it. As soon as carrots are tender, adjust the salt and pepper and the soup is ready.
Enjoy it by the bowl or mug. I like mine without noodles or rice, but I do add them (already cooked) from time to time for other people.