Intro: Hearty Chicken Soup
This is a recipe for chicken soup that I started making while off at university. It has plenty of vegetables, and is fairly simple to make. It may seem time consuming, but after you make it the first time it seems less daunting afterwards.
Step 1: Step One: Shopping
First and foremost you will need to gather the ingredients needed for this soup.
Bunch of Carrots
2 Cartons Chicken Stock**
2 Chicken Breasts
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Butter or Margarine
** For a healthier option use a low sodium organic broth, or home-made chicken broth. If you don't have time to make your own broth the cartons make a good substitute.
Step 2: Step Two: Food Preparation A
Time to cook the chicken. I grill my chicken before hand, using a George Foreman grill. I find it is a healthier option. It's also a quick method to pre-cook the chicken, as well it seals in the juices so you end up with moist chicken pieces. I use boneless skinless chicken breats. Feel free to use what ever cut of meat you prefer. Be sure to trim off any fat.
1. Preheat your grill. Rinse your chicken, pat dry if nessecary
2. Lightly sprinkle the chicken with paprika, black pepper and salt. If you found that you have added to much, you can spread it around using your fingers.
3. Place meat on the grill and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
4. Flip meat to ensure even cooking. Leave until cooked through.
5. Set chicken aside to rest.
Step 3: Step Two: Food Preparation B
Now you should wash and peel your vegetables. Depending on whether or not you purchase organic or not, you may need to use a veggie wash to remove any residual pesticides.
You can either cut them into cubes or circles. I chose circles. I find they are quicker to cook. In this batch I used 3 carrots out of my bunch. It is up to you to determine how many you would like in your soup. This is all about personal preference.
1. Peel and wash your carrots
2. Slice into desired thickness. Keeping in mind, the thinner they are the quicker they cook.
Once again the amount used is up to your discretion.
1. Wash the desired amount of stalks.
2. Cut into slices or desired thickness. Try to keep the pieced uniform so you have equal cooking times.
Again, up to your discretion.
1. Peel and wash your desired amount of potatoes.
2. Cut into cm thick cubes. Again the smaller the pieces are the quicker they cook.
I use broccoli crowns instead of a full bunch of broccoli. This is the best option if you dislike eating the broccoli stalk itself. You can get it at your local grocery store, it is usually sold by weight.
1. Cut the broccoli crown into smaller florets.
2. If the florets appear rather large you can cut the florets in half if desired.
Fresh peas have a rather short shelf life, this is why I use frozen peas. In this batched I used a cup of frozen peas, but as I stated before it is up to you to determine how much you would like.
Set aside all of your prepared vegetable.
Step 4: Step Three: Cooking
Here you will need:
A medium sized sauce pot with a lid, a clear lid works best
A silicone spoon
1. Add about three teaspoons of butter to the pot, and a small amount of olive oil. Place over medium high heat until melted.
2. Sautee carrots and celery making sure not to brown them.
3. After they appear softer and slightly cooked add enough chicken stock to cover them (approx. a third of the carton). Place the lid over the pot. This allows the vegetables to be steamed, hereby speeding up the cooking process. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
4. Now add the potatoes and another third carton of broth to cover the new volume of veggies. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, cut or pull apart the chicken into bite sized pieces. Add this to the simmering mixture. Add in the remaining broth in the carton.
6. Depending on whether or not you enjoy more veggies or more broth add an additional amount of broth from the second carton. I used about half. Make sure to taste your broth in order to adjust any spices.
7. Simmer until the vegetables have reached your desired tenderness. Add broccoli and peas, folding them in to full incorporated them. Cover an let simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until broccoli and peas are cooked through.
8. Cool, and serve.
Step 5: Final Notes
You can most certainly add noodles to this soup. However, as you will notice when cooking, it is already quite hardy without them. I usually forego noodles for this reason. If you do however chose to add noodles, pick a type that will not retain water, as you will be left with no broth.
This recipe freezes fairly well, as long as the vegetables are covered in broth the vegetables will show no damage from temperature change.
As well, leftovers are great for chicken pot pies. By thickening the broth, or adding cream to create a stew or gravy, you now have an excellent pot pie filling.