Waking up on a chilly Autumn or Winter day in the Northeast makes me, well, cold. And to keep myself warm during these cooler months, I tend to eat in the seasonal pattern so that warmer foods will dominate my plate and keep me warm.
One of my favorite things to eat (aside from when I get a cold or am sick) is chicken soup, however I rarely have hours to sit and let it simmer on the stove. One of my mentors, Andrea Beaman, taught me the true benefits of making homemade bone stock (the recipe is HERE) which is incredibly nourishing for the body especially during times of illness, stress or exhaustion.
To make the worlds collide, I began to play around with my slow cooker so I could get the healthy benefits of a slow cooked soup without all the attention that is necessary to keep something going on the stove. Now, if you don’t have a slow cooker or crock pot, go get one ASAP. You have no idea what you’re missing out on.
A slow cooker or crock pot is at the top of my ‘must have’ list for gluten-free kitchen supplies.
Warming, easy and seriously some incredible soup, make sure to share this with your friends!!!
Start soup out on HIGH until it comes to a boil. Then turn down to LOW and cook for 4 to 6 hours or until vegetables are tender and chicken will fall off the bone.
Slower cooking (good for overnight or cooking while at work):
Cook soup on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or until vegetables are tender and chicken will fall off the bone.
Then add salt to taste and adjust pepper if need be. Remove chicken from soup and store it separately after cleaning the meat off of the bones. Discard bones and skin.
From here, you can add whatever you want to the soup. I love to get creative and top my soup with things that you might not initially think of like avocado and pico de gallo. I’ve even been adding a bit of white rice to mine lately. If you want to know why I’m avoiding brown rice, check out last week’s article here.
You can also freeze some of the broth in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. And for a different flavor profile, try subbing the 4 chicken legs for 2 turkey legs.
Note about purchasing chicken: If you can afford it, buy organic free-range chicken. Your soup will taste much better and richer because the chicken is higher in nutrients than those conventionally raised. If you can get the parts from a local chicken farmer, then that’s even better. Though it will be more expensive the taste and nutrition will be worth it!
Your turn! Tell me…
What’s your favorite way to enjoy chicken soup?