Ah, the weather’s getting cooler, the leaves are changing color, and you know what that means, folks? It’s the perfect time for some good ol’ homemade chicken soup! There’s nothing more comforting than that tantalizing aroma drifting through the house as a piping hot pot of soup simmers on the stove.
Now, let me tell you, when it comes to chicken soup, I don’t mess around. None of that store-bought, canned nonsense for my loved ones – no, sir! I start with the freshest ingredients I can find, and I always opt for organic. Trust me, it makes a world of difference, not only in the taste, but also in how wholesome and, dare I say, healing the soup ends up being.
So, where to begin? Well, first off, I’m a bit of a stickler for using homemade chicken broth. Yes, I know, there are decent store-bought options out there, but you just can’t beat the depth of flavor you get from making your own. I roast a whole chicken (organic, of course!) until it’s nice and golden, then use the bones, along with good quality veggies – carrots, celery, and onions are my go-to – to simmer away into a golden, magical elixir. Umph, it’s divine, I tell ya.
Once that heavenly broth is ready, I chop up some carrots, celery, and onions – y’know, pretty standard for chicken soup, but then I throw in a couple of unexpected things, like thinly sliced leeks (they add a bit of je ne sais quoi) and a smidgen of fresh dill (brightens up the whole shebang). As for the chicken, you bet I’m using the tender, juicy chicken I roasted earlier.
Now, as the soup cooks, I can’t help myself; I gotta taste it every now and then, adjusting the seasoning as needed. Then, when it’s all hunky-dory, I serve it piping hot with some crusty bread, and just you watch as your family and friends dig in. I could wax poetic about this stuff all day, but I’ll spare you. Just trust me – once you’ve tried my chicken soup, you’ll have one more reason to look forward to chilly nights.
- Rinse and pat dry a whole organic chicken; generously season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C); roast chicken for approximately 1 hour or until juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).
- Remove chicken from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle; shred the meat into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Make chicken broth: Add chicken carcass (bones and any remaining bits) to a large pot, along with roughly chopped carrots, celery, and onions.
- Fill the pot with cold water until ingredients are fully submerged; bring to a boil, then lower to a gentle simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the top.
- Simmer the broth for 2-3 hours or until rich and flavorful; strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer, discarding solids.
- Prepare soup vegetables: dice additional carrots, celery, and onions, thinly slice leeks, and mince a few sprigs of fresh dill.
- In a clean large pot, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat; add diced carrots, celery, onions, and leeks, sautéing until softened and just starting to caramelize.
- Pour the homemade chicken broth into the pot with the sautéed veggies; bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Add the shredded roast chicken and minced dill to the pot; stir the soup to combine all ingredients.
- Season the soup to taste with salt, pepper, and any desired herbs or spices; simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes or until flavors meld together.
- Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping; enjoy the satisfying comfort of homemade chicken soup, made with love!
That was fresh!