Friday, January 27, 2012

Living Healthfully: Best Chicken Soup Ever

At first I wasn't sure whether or not to be highly offended or highly flattered when John heartily took a heaping bite of the chicken soup I'd slaved over {read: chopped veggies for} all day {read: the time it took me to chop the veggies} and exclaimed that it was surely the best soup I'd ever made.

I mean, I'm not some fabulous chef or anything close, but I've made some pretty darn good soups; they are kind of my thing.

After assuring me that most of my soups have been good and that all of his past compliments hadn't been pity remarks {kidding!}, he added that this one was exceptionally good.

So because it's super healthy{I mean, like, whoa healthy}, exceptionally tasty and it's pretty painless to make, here's the play by play on how to create my {creatively titled} Best Chicken Soup Ever in your own kitchen.


Ingredients:
One small whole chicken
Four stalks of celery
One pound bag of carrots
One bunch of parsley
One bunch of cilantro
One sweet onion
One bunch of leeks
Olive Oil
Five cloves of garlic
Sea Salt
Pepper
One cup of frozen Kale or about 5 large fresh leaves chopped well
Dried Italian Seasoning blend
One Lime
One bag of baked Blue Corn Tortilla Chips* {optional}

Directions:

Place entire chicken {remove organ pack if it's included first!} in a crock pot with enough time to cook for about 6-8 hours. Add 6-8 cups of water {basically you only want the top of the chicken to be above water} and drizzle olive oil atop of the chicken. Turn the heat on high.

While the crock pot is warming and the chicken is beginning to cook and make a simple broth in the pot, get busy chopping carrots, celery, parsley, leeks and onion. Crush the garlic. Add all ingredients to the crock pot after you're finished chopping and allow them to simmer on high with the chicken. Also add a generous sprinkle of the dried Italian Seasoning blend now.

About an hour and half before serving your soup, begin breaking pulling the chicken meat off the bones. After removing much of the meat, take the carcass {leave the leg bones in the crock pot to simmer}and place it in a big stock pot. Cover the carcass with water and simmer the carcass in the stock pot with the lid on. You'll want to cover the carcass with about an inch or so of water.

Next, chop the cilantro and add most of it along with the kale to the crockpot. Toss the rest of the cilantro into the stock pot. If you have another clove of garlic, add it to the stock pot, too. Let the carcass simmer for about an hour but check to make sure the carcass is still covered with water in the pot during the simmering period. Add more water if needed.

After an hour, pour the stockpot contents into the crock pot using a strainer to strain the bones and meat.

Then pick out the meat from the stock pot and add it to your soup.

Add sea salt and pepper before serving and serve with a side of fresh lime and blue corn tortilla chips.

{*If you are following the Body Ecology Diet like I am, this meal adheres to the guidelines for first and second phases minus the tortilla chips. Don't eat the tortilla chips alongside a protein or starchy veggies!}

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