The Best Chicken Soup
What you’re looking at above is homemade chicken broth that I made over a couple of months time and froze in quart size freezer bags. That’s 4 quarts of chicken broth thawing over low heat on the stove. The best thing about homemade broth is that it’s healthier than store bought and free.
I don’t think I know anyone that doesn’t like Chicken Soup. I first experimented with this recipe at my Mom’s house 2 years ago. I spent the weekend there to assist her and my step-Dad after surgery she had to put screws in her shoulder and her wrist (same arm). I winged it (the recipe) and it was wonderful! My brother joined us for dinner and asked if we could add some buckwheat noodles, so I did. It was a hit, and I promptly wrote down the recipe as I made it.
But you should know that at that time I started with a large stock pot full of water and I put a whole chicken (with the skin removed – yes, I removed all the skin) in and watched it boil for over an hour. It sounds time consuming but as the chicken was cooking I prepared everything else: the carrots, celery, onion, diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, spinach (I didn’t use green beans in the original recipe), bouillon cubes and of course there was no barley which was why my brother asked about adding the buckwheat noodles (broken up).
Honestly, I wasn’t certain how long it would take for the whole chicken to cook so I let it cook for about 90 minutes. I removed the whole chicken from the pot and put it in a bowl to cool and added the rest of the ingredients to the pot, turning down the heat to a low boil (not quite a simmer, but almost). When the chicken was cool enough to handle without burning my fingers I started removing it from the bones and adding it back to the pot. Yes, I added the whole chicken, so the soup was LOADED with chicken, and then when my brother arrived with the buckwheat noodles, I broke up the buckwheat noodles and added them to the pot, let them cook about 10 minutes and then served the soup – which was to die for.
In all honesty, the chicken broth was delicious without adding the bouillon, but everyone has their own taste when it comes to adding salt and since I don’t add salt I decided to add bouillon cubes to enhance the flavor and add the salt that was definitely needed (in my opinion). Most of time we put the salt shaker on the table so that every controls their own level of sodium.
Today’s version consists of broth that has been made over time, every time I cook Chicken Breast for the freezer. I cook as many as I have to fit in a stock pot to make the broth. I chop up the chicken and freeze it after it cools, and freeze the broth after an overnight in the refrigerator (so I can skim the fat off the top of it).
The Best Chicken Soup
Add chicken broth to pot, and bring to a boil.
Turn heat down to a low boil and add the tomato, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, basil, spinach, green beans, and bouillon (if using). Let it cook until the vegetable are tender - 30 minutes or so.
Add cooked, chopped chicken, and if adding barley or noodles, add it now and continue boiling till it's done to your likeness.
Serve yourself a nice piping hot, healthy bowl of the best chicken soup around!
I used barley in this recipe but you can use whatever you wish in place of this, in whatever amount you think is necessary. 1 cup of barley turns into 3 cups cooked . Buckwheat noodles (really good), brown rice, egg noodle, elbow macaroni, etc.
This recipe makes 5 quarts. While it was still hot I packaged up a quart and blessed a local family, we ate a quart, and the other three, after the soup cooled, went into containers in the refrigerator.
The next day I pulled out 3 quart size freezer bags, labeled them, emptied a container of the best chicken soup in each bag, and froze them.