Thursday, January 29, 2015

CHICKEN SOUP

CHICKEN SOUP: The dish that warms the body, warms the soul, cures hangovers, clears sinus and chest congestion, and gives more energy than a cuppa joe. 


Here’s my quick and easy recipe for Chicken Soup:


Start with fresh chicken. I use chicken thighs as I find them to be the most flavorful and I always remove the skin. Boil chicken pieces in a stock pot or Dutch oven, whichever one you’re using, until cooked.  

Chop an onion and a couple of peppers, one red and one green, and throw that in the pot. These have antioxidant qualities and are considered superfoods because of their high nutrient content. Peppers are a good source of Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, and Folate.

Next, throw in whatever frozen vegetables you have on hand. I usually throw in those that are starting to get freezer burn: corn, peas and carrots, and cauliflower and broccoli. You decide what and how much to put in. Peas are very good for any kind of soup or stew as they have been proven to help lower the risk of stomach cancer and are also a good source of omega 3. They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well.

Add herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme (just like that old Simon and Garfunkel song), and pepper to taste. The health benefits of herbs have been known for decades, centuries, even. Parsley is now being used in cancer research, sage is used to treat digestive problems and mental disorders such as depression and Alzheimer's, aromatic rosemary boosts brain power, and thyme is a powerful antioxidant and contains Vitamins A and C, iron, and fiber. Google these herbs to find more information on their health benefits.

Add two packages of chicken noodle soup—I use Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup. Stir, mixing up all those wonderful ingredients, and let the soup boil for another 15-20 minutes, and voila! savory, colorful, delicious homemade chicken soup.

The thing about Chicken Soup is that you really can’t go wrong. You can use fresh, frozen, or leftover vegetables, herbs, and any type of carb: potatoes, rice, and/or noodles. Of course, the key ingredient for chicken soup is the chicken, any cut will do. 

If you use hardy vegetables like turnip, carrots, or cabbage, you boil those first, then, when that’s just about done, add the softer vegetables like peppers and onions. 

Always put frozen vegetables in during the last 15-20 minutes of boiling time, unless you want these to turn to mush, as well as the packaged chicken noodle soup, rice, pasta, or chopped potato. I do not use rice, pasta, or potato as these are too high in carbohydrates and it will make you logy after you eat. 

Flavored croutons are way better than crackers or bread as they add texture and it is pleasing to the eye. Once I ladle some soup in my favorite bowl I toss some butter flavored croutons over it … mmm mmm good.