AS Recipes: The Perfect Chicken Soup

by Anja Bauman

As a personal chef, my passion is to feed people healthy, nutritious, and delicious meals. I believe that when we eat well, we will feel well. What we eat affects us way more than most of us would like to admit. Our mood, hormones, brain function, stamina and overall sense of well being is often directly related to the foods we consume.

With the weather getting cooler and as I spend more time inside, it automatically awakens the desire in me to pull out my stockpot and to get a pot of soup simmering on the back burner.

To me, there is nothing as nourishing, healing and comforting as a good pot of soup.

Today I am going to share with you how to make a perfect chicken soup from scratch; stock and all. Don’t let the thought of making your own chicken stock intimidate you. It is not as hard or complicated as you might think. And it is a must when wanting to make a perfect pot of chicken soup.

The Perfect Chicken Soup

For the stock:

1 whole chicken

3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 celery stalks, plus leaves, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 onion, cut into quarters with the ends and skin (onion skins are said to have more antioxidants than the onion itself and are packed with rich doses of vitamins A, C, and E which protect skin cells from free radical damage. Basically meaning that onion skins keep your skin looking younger and as well as reduce blood pressure and help prevent clogged arteries and a host of other health benefits. So don’t throw them away!)

1 head of garlic, chopped in half horizontally ( same goes for garlic skins!)

2 bay leaves

5 sprigs of fresh thyme

5 sprigs of parsley

1 Tablespoon of peppercorns

Rinse chicken and place in a large pot with the rest of ingredients. Cover with water, about 6 cups. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Strain broth through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Reserve the liquid. The vegetables and herbs can be thrown out.

When the chicken has cooled, pull the meat off the bone and discard the skin and bones.

For the soup:

Reserved stock

1 whole, cooked chicken, diced

2 stalks of celery, chopped

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

1 onion, diced