Home made Chicken Soup. Lovely!
I like to make chicken soup for many reasons. If I ever get sick for example, I make this chicken soup and keep having it until I feel better. There is some evidence suggesting that having chicken soup when you have a cold may be helpful. Old fashioned cook books used to dedicate a section of the book to “Invalid Cooking” – specific recipes for people feeling poorly or with low appetite. If you or someone in your family is unwell its a great thing to make, at anytime of the year. Of course you do not have to be sick to enjoy it.
I don’t go for commercial stocks. They are very high in sodium. I never buy them. The western diet is filled with hidden sodium, which can lead to hypertension. It’s not hard to make chicken soup and I believe it’s worth the effort every time. The flavour comes naturally from the ingredients. I don’t add any salt until the end, then just a little to taste.
My Omi (Maternal Grandmother) used to make it every Sunday, followed by a roast. As a matter of fact, access to meat and variation in food produce was more limited. The chickens the were often older (they probably really were free range) so the meat was tougher and leaner. They used to call those chickens “Boilers” so she would make the soup from this kind of chicken, then, for tastiness and economy, she would remove the chicken from the soup and roast it. So it was twice cooked. We always enjoyed the soup with carrots and noodles as a starter. She would serve the roast chicken as the second course with roasted potatoes and a pickled pumpkin called “kerbis” which I just adored.
So I make this soup not just for wellness or for nutrition and hunger but for the memory of “mine leibe Omi”.
This is how I do it.
Wash the chicken and set into a large saucepan. Add water until it almost covers the chicken. Add the onion cut in half, the carrots, peeled, topped and tailed, the washed celery and parsley, the bay leaf and peppercorns.
Set on the stove, on the lowest possible heat, allow it to very slowly warm and then come to a simmer. This gives a nice clear stock. Allow to simmer gently for about an hour, or until the chicken is cooked and the legs just begin to part from the body if disturbed. Turn off and allow to cool a bit until able to be handled.
Remove the chicken, herbs and peppercorns from the pot. Keep the carrots to one side. Remove the peppercorns with a slotted spoon or strain the soup. I like to eat them so it doesn’t matter if you leave a few behind.
Take the chicken and dismember, removing all skin and bones and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Discard the chicken carcass.
Return the chicken meat to the clear stock. Return the carrots.
Fill a separate pot with water and bring to the boil. When boiling add the noodles and cook until soft. Strain. Add to the soup. Season if desired.
Serve with a little extra fresh chopped parsley on top.