Don't you just love a cozy bowl of soup when it's cool outside? We had a surprise snow storm before Halloween, so soup was definitely on the menu! Snow before Halloween in southern New Mexico?! For several weeks prior, we'd been having record high temperatures, so the snow was a big shock.
This recipe for Chicken Vegetable Soup was so warm and good on a cold day. It's loaded with veggies: the usual onion, carrots, and celery of course, plus zucchini and butternut squash. The butternut breaks down totally and gives the broth a beautiful golden color. Plenty of herbs and garlic provide a lovely flavor.
Whole Chicken, With or Without Giblets
This recipe uses a whole chicken. I find that's one of the most cost-effective ways to be able to eat organic chicken. It also gives me the option of mincing the giblets and throwing those in the soup, too.
Organ meats are at the top of the list when it comes to nutrition-packed foods. Liver is a true superfood, providing abundant iron, vitamin A, all of the B vitamins (including folic acid), CoQ10, and trace elements such as copper, chromium, and zinc.
Since not everyone in my family is wild about eating organ meats, adding giblets to chicken soup has been the simplest way for me to make sure my family is benefits from organ meats on a regular basis. If you haven't yet gotten your tastebuds used to organ meats, give it a try and see! Or you could totally leave those out. No pressure. ;)
Stock Up the Freezer
This soup recipe is also great for stocking up the freezer since it makes 10-12 servings. I like to freeze homemade meals as "fast food" on future busy days.
Chicken Vegetable Soup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Inactive Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
2 large white or yellow onions, chopped
7 stalks celery, chopped
1 whole ~3.5 pound chicken, preferably organic and with giblets
8 cups filtered water
8 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium zucchinis, sliced
One 10-ounce bag of cubed butternut squash
4 Tb Celtic sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
2&1/2 Tb dried basil
2&1/2 Tb dried parsley
2 bay leaves
Chop the onion and celery. I always use my favorite Wusthof knife for chopping soup veggies. Put these veggies in a large (8 quart) soup pot.
Add 8 cups of filtered water to the pot.
Remove your whole chicken from the wrapper. If there are giblets inside, set these aside for now. If you won't be feeding the chicken neck and gizzard to your dog, feel free to throw them in the pot for extra flavor. :)
Add the whole chicken, 3Tb salt, and bay leaves to the pot. The chicken should be breast-side up and nestled down into the water.
Bring the pot to a low simmer. Put a lid on the pot and set the heat to maintain a simmer. This will need to simmer for about 45 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the carrots. (I love my Rada vegetable peeler!) Mince the garlic.
Once the chicken is fully cooked, carefully remove it from the pot and place it in a bowl to cool. (Also remove the neck and gizzard if you added those in.)
Add the carrots, butternut, garlic, basil, and parsley to the pot. Add the remaining 1Tb of salt. Bring the pot back to a simmer.
Meanwhile, slice the zucchinis.
Once the carrots have been simmering for about 15 minutes, add the zucchini to the pot.
Meanwhile, get to work on separating the chicken meat from the bones. It works well to pull off the thighs and separate the breasts to allow these to cool quicker. Once the chicken has cooled, use a fork or your fingers to pull the meat and