Introduction: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Families have passed down recipes, traditions, and home remedies for years. Which is it starve a cold and feed a fever or is it the other way around? I was curious so I checked online. It is feed a cold and starve a fever. In our modern times with all the new advances in medicine do you think any of these home remedies actually work? This just might surprise you, a group of scientist did a research on foods and how they play a part in our immune system. Their study showed there could very well be some truth to these old home remedies. Here is the link to their study so you can read it for yourself: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1777-feed-a-cold-starve-a-fever-may-be-right.html.
My aunt always taught me that the best thing for a cold is homemade chicken soup. Of course she also mentioned I needed to drink fruit juices and plenty of water. I was told to stay away from drafts, keep warm, and get plenty of rest.
With both parents working and raising a family we don't always have the time to make or even can homemade soup. This guide will show you time saving techniques that just might inspire you to make up a batch in time for the cold and flue season.
The holidays are just around the corner and this would be a well received gift. This is a great way to re-use jars, cook from scratch making healthy nutritious meals, and contribute to green living.
Step 1: Physical Benefits of Chicken Soup
Homemade soup served by the hands of a loving wife or mother has been used as a home remedy with remarkable results. It soothes the throat and warms the body. Canning large batches will serve you well when a family member comes home sick.
Step 2: The Benefits of Home Canning
How many of you have ever tasted home canned food? The truth is home canned foods have more nutritional value than store bought foods. You control what goes into the foods you can. It is very beneficial to can what you grow yourself, because most farmers use harmful chemicals on their fields. If you can't grow it yourself consider buying produce that is grown organically. The flavor of home grown and canned produce is amazing! I grew up in a time when many people were still growing and canning their own produce. I know what a real dill pickle taste like and what you buy in the stores today don't even come close! Canning takes time but if your time is limited consider growing your own garden and freezing what you grow. The benefits are worth the extra effort.
In this guide I have canned Grannie's soup recipe the lazy way. I canned the soup but have frozen it instead of using the pressure canner or pressure cooker method. This is an inexpensive way to get started and see if it is something you might be interested in doing. From there you will gain confidence and may decide to go for the real deal. I personally have canned fruits and jellies but have never attempted canning meats. Canning some foods require education because of the dangers involved if you don't do it properly.
Step 3: Great Grannie's Recipe For: Chicken Soup for the Cold
This is what you will need to make the soup:
1 Boiled whole chicken adding only salt when cooking it.
Save all the chicken broth.
Remove the meat using a strainer if you have one, save and freeze the skins and bones if you have dogs or cats. I will show what to do with them later.
Cut chicken in small bite size pieces.
1 cup peeled chopped carrots.
1 Cup chopped celery.
1 Cup chopped onion.
1 Chopped jalapeno.
4 garlic cloves.
1 Lemon juiced. This is to add to the soup after it is cooked.
2 Cups of fresh chopped tomatoes.
1 Cup chives I used the tops of 6 green onions because I did not have chives.
2 Chicken Bouillon cubes.
I used curly noodles but you can add egg noodles as well.
The secret to this recipe is use as many green spices as you can. I use what I have on hand. You can add just about any kind of vegetable to this recipe and receive benefits from it. This is the recipe we have used for a very long time. I often use what ever I have at the time. Nothing is in stone. You can add parsnips, sweet potato and turnips for even better results. I did not have any on hand.
Spices: I adjusted my recipe for a larger group of taste buds. I like mine more seasoned and with more pepper. Taste it after you add everything and adjust it for your taste buds. The more spices the better it works.
1/8Th Teaspoon of each of the following as desired:
Pepper if desired
You may omit the peppers if your family is sensitive to it. Peppers help clean out the sinuses.
1 Large stock pot
1 Large spoon
1 Medium funnel with large opening
1 Sharp knife
1 Cutting board
Food strainer if you have one.
Clean canning jars or heavy jars and lids with wide mouths. If this is your first time freezing in a jar just can/freeze a few to get the feel of it.
Plastic bags the number of jars you will be freezing.
Please note: If you are a vegetarian you may substitute the chicken broth for a vegetarian broth and add rice and beans to make a complete protein.
Step 4: Cooking the Soup
Place the broth in the stock pot or cook it in a crock pot.
Add all the spices.
Add the chicken.
Add all the vegetables reserving 1 cup of the tomatoes and a few green onion tops or chives for garnish.
Turn on the burner and cook until the carrots are done but not over cooked.
Add the lemon juice to the cooked mixture.
Step 5: Fill the Jars
Add the remaining tomatoes and chives to the jars.
Do not fill the jars above the neck line. Leave at least 1 inch at the top for small jars and 2 inches for larger jars to allow for expansion. If you don't allow enough the jars could break. As it turned out my jars did not expand that much but it is best to be safe than sorry.
Ladle the soup into the jars.
Allow to cool completely to ovoid breakage.
When they are cooled completely carefully place them in the freezer with the lids off! As a safety measure: Place the jars into the plastic bags to prevent any glass from getting on other foods if the jar breaks.
After they are completely frozen place the lids on the jars and screw down the lids.
Put back in the freezer. There is no need to place them back into the plastic bags because they are frozen and there is no danger in them breaking.
That is all there is to it!
When you thaw out the soup allow it to thaw in a bowl with cool water if you will be around to start cooking it when it is thawed. I personally feel safer defrosting it in the fridge. Avoid rapid thawing to prevent breakage.
Step 6: Chicken Soup Bones
I promised that I would add the link to my chicken soup bones recipe. I made a completely different tutorial about how to cook the chicken bones to feed you dog/cat. I had been visiting my sister and she was feeding her dogs chicken bones. I never knew you could actually safely give them dog bones and they are very good for them. This tutorial also gives tips on how to potty train your dog and useful grooming tips on friendly products. Step 4 is about the dog food. Here is the link on how to safely do that:
Step 7: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts
I have pictures here of ways you can package the soup for gift ideas. You can begin to make the soup now and avoid that last minute holiday rush. It is important to place a large note on the package and tell them that the jar must be placed in the freezer or fridge asap or eaten within a few days. I know this is a repeat but it is very important and you would sure hate to find out that someone got sick on the soup you canned. The jars are not sealed so they need to be frozen until they will be used. Do not let them sit on the counter all day because bacteria can make you very ill. Thaw them in a bowl of cool water if you are going to be around to check on it often. Otherwise thaw in the fridge. Cook frozen soup as soon as you can remove it safely from the jar.
For a care package just add stuff one would take for a cold along with the soup. You can add a little or add a lot. You could make a family package because a lot of times everyone in the family gets sick. You can make the soup in a crock pot and take the entire pot to a sick family. Many different options you could do for this type of gift. Add bath salts recipe here: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Bath-Bombs/ Lip balm: https://www.instructables.com/id/Delicious-Chocolate-Chapstick-Honey-Balm/, candle, cough drops how to here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Cough-Drops/ , Vapor rub , Orange juice, Vitamin C, Tea, Get well rock, Throat spray, or footie's just to name a few.
There are people who have concerns of storing foods in plastic containers or bags and this is a good alternative for them. You can use plastic to store them in and that is an option you might consider. This is a great way to get you comfortable putting up your own food. To freeze broth simply place the broth in the fridge until the fat settles to the top. Skim off the fat and pour the broth into a freezer bag and work out the air. Lay flat single layered on the freezer shelf. After it is completely frozen you may stack it to make more room in the freezer.
I am currently working on an Instructable using chicken bones for cat/dog treats. When it is finished I will add a link here.
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