Chicken Soup: Simple, Healthy and Delicious

Stacy Bostrom Chicken Soup The Nurture Blog

Soup is a lot like family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics, and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor.- Marge Kennedy

Soup weather has finally arrived in San Diego. Besides being a healthy choice for dinner, soups can be prepared in advance, making weekday mealtime a breeze. During the winter months, we will often take our time to leisurely and lovingly put together a simple but hearty soup on Sunday afternoon. We will enjoy our family meal together then look forward to a repeat on Monday night.

Our most often repeated recipe is chicken vegetable soup. Creating a soup allows more creativity and flexibility than most recipes which allows the whole family to be involved when selecting and adding the ingredients to the pot. Exact measurements are not required and no matter which vegetables you decide to include or leave out, you are guaranteed a comforting, healthy and tasty meal.

Our basic recipe includes the following:

* Whole Organic Chicken

* Bell Peppers

* Bok Choy

* Butternut Squash

* Carrots

* Celery

* Cilantro

* Garlic

* Leek

* Potato

* Olive Oil

* Onion

* Pepper

* Salt

We generally dice the onion, garlic, leek, and celery then sautee them in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Once the onion and leek, softens and begins to look transparent, we add the whole chicken and coat it in the veggies and oil. Next, we add water, enough to cover the chicken. We simmer this mixture until the chicken is cooked through, our test is pulling at the leg a little and when it starts to come away from the rest of the bird, you know the chicken is cooked through. You can remove the chicken from the broth to disassemble it returning just the meat to the soup pot. At this point, you can add your remaining vegetables which you would have roughly chopped or finely diced (your preference) while the chicken cooked. We generally add the Bok Choy at the very end, maybe 5 minutes or so before removing the soup from the heat. At some point in the process add salt and pepper which will be to taste.

Every batch looks and tastes slightly different so experiment, try your own version, enjoy and let me know how your first pot turns out.