A pot of broth simmering away on the stove is like therapy and medicine for the soul. Along with that, it makes a home feel assuredly comforting and inviting. Enjoying a bowl of soup is always a comfort to my soul along with my palate. A sense of true deep down nourishment always comes over me with every sip of broth. Because bone broth is easy to absorb, tastes good, and contains a rich concentration of nutrients, broth makes a distinctively good natural ‘medicine.’ In folk wisdom, chicken soup is known as ‘Jewish penicillin’.
Many people turn to chicken soup when they are under the weather or coming down with a cold or flu. Our bodies innately speak to us sometimes through the foods we crave, and in this case for good reason. Bone broth contains gelatin a colloidal substance that attracts digestive juices to itself and prevents gastrointestinal bugs from attaching themselves to the gut wall and wreaking havoc. Chicken broth or other broths also contain glutathione a substance that helps to detoxify the liver. It is also the most assimilable way to get much-needed minerals when the body is under stress. Bone broth is also helpful in treating digestive disorders such as IBS, colitis, and even Crohn’s disease. Bone broth is most definitely worth it’s weight in gold as it’s a powerful healing food that just about everyone can benefit from. (Learn more about the benefits of bone broth).
During the winter I make chicken stock every week. With the bones from two entire chickens, I can make almost 2 gallons of stock. We use every bit of it too. Since this is the time of year we all seem to want soup and many people get sick, I thought I’d post how I make both my homemade chicken broth and a basic chicken soup. If you haven’t made homemade soup with homemade broth and are used to the crap, eh hem, I mean stuff from a can, you are in for a real treat.
- Bones, neck, backs, wing tips and 4 chicken feet (from 2 whole pastured chickens)
- 8 quarts cold filtered water
- ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
- 1-2 whole heads of garlic, smashed and peeled
- 4-6 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 6-8 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 4 bay leaves handful of peppercorns
- 1 or 2 bunches of parsley
- Astragalus root slices (optional)
- Place the chicken pieces and bones in a large stainless steel stockpot with the water, vinegar and all the vegetables, minus the parsley. Let stand 1 hour (the vinegar will help to draw the minerals out of the bones).
- Bring to a boil, and remove any scum that rises to the top. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns astragalus root slices.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 24 hours. I always do a full 24 hours, because the longer you cook it the richer the flavor will be.
- Ten minutes prior to finishing the stock, add the parsley.
- Strain the stock and contain it in glass ball jars. If you plan to freeze it, leave 2 inches of head space and allow to cool fully before placing in the freezer.
- 4 quarts of homemade chicken stock (recipe follows)
- 4 -6 organic carrots, chopped
- 6-8 stalks of organic celery, chopped
- 2 large onions, minced
- 1 whole head of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 1/2 whole breasts of chicken, cut off of 2 pastured chickens and cut into bite sized pieces.
- butter or ghee and/or drippings leftover from a roasted chicken
- dried oregano
- sea salt
- a bunch fresh parsley, minced (optional)
- In a large chef's pan on medium high heat, add a spoonful of ghee.
- Add chopped onions, carrots and celery and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and saute another minute or so.
- Add about a quart of stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat a bit, place lid on pan and let the veggies simmer about 30 minutes.
- At the end of the 30 minutes, check the veggies for doneness, they should be very tender at this point, if not keep simmering until the desired tenderness is acheived.
- Add the remaining stock and seasonings and bring to a boil again.
- Add in the chicken pieces, simmer for a few minutes until chicken is cooked through.
- Add plenty of butter and the parsley if using and cook a few more minutes. Serve.
Want more soup recipes? Winter Soups, a downloadable recipe eBook, is a collection of 52 nourishing soups from your favorite real food bloggers. Click on the banner below to learn more about ‘Winter Soups‘.
Are you new to making homemade broths and stocks? If you want to learn from the best on all the ins and outs of homemade broth making, plus obtain numerous recipes and uses for broth -check out my friend Patty of Loving Our Guts eBook; ‘Broth Elixir of Life‘. Gorgeous photos and step by step instructions, plus information on all the healing benefits of broth and why you should make it a staple part of your healthy kitchens.
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