Homemade Chicken Soup

 
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Autumn season is here and some of these fall days were just made for Chicken Soup right?  If you are trying to eliminate processed foods, or trying to follow a paleo style eating plan, and at the same time need a good, hearty meal that's easy and tasty, here’s your answer - a simple pot of chicken soup for the day.  I love making this, the flavors are great, and you can make it early in the day to cook in the crock pot, or prepare a couple hours before mealtime if that's where your extra time falls for the day.  It's also a meal that makes one for you and one to put in the freezer for one of those days when there just isn't enough time.  

Consider the amounts listed in this recipe as guidelines, just some general ideas as to how to get started, and that's the beauty of it.  You can vary your seasonings, experiment with different vegetables, and use some creativity in your ingredients!  

YOU WILL NEED - 

1 whole chicken, rinsed, inner parts removed
3 carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 potato or sweet potato, approx 1" chunks
2 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp Chicken or Vegetable Better Than Bullion (optional)
3/4 cup quinoa (optional)
Salt & pepper

Start by covering the chicken in a large pot with water, bring to a boil and then simmer for about 45 minutes.  While the chicken is cooking, slice and dice the carrots, celery, onion, and sweet potato.  Remove the chicken from the water and set out on a platter to cool.  

Add the Better Than Bullion flavoring to the water and continue to simmer on low.  Remembering to read labels is a life long learning experience.  I've been making this recipe for many years and the addition of Better Then Bullion was the secret ingredient that makes the broth taste so good!  Well, now remembering to check the labels I see that this bullion does have sugar listed.  How sad 😕, so I've added "optional" to this ingredient, maybe I will find a replacement someday!   

Add the carrot, celery, and onion to the water, reserving the sweet potato to add when you are about a half hour from serving.  When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, shred to bite size, and add to the pot.  

At this point do a taste test of your broth, adding salt and pepper to your liking.  Be creative if you want to add other herbs - garlic powder, oregano, basil, etc, all would add a delightful flavor.  If you are including quinoa, this is the time to add it, allowing it to simmer in the soup broth for about 15 minutes. If you have strictly omitted grains from your diet, you could add a little more sweet potato for a more hearty stew.  If your diet is flexible to include a little healthy grain, go for the quinoa! 

After these additions to your soup, evaluate the amount of broth you have and add additional stock if desired.  I must admit, my soups could really be labeled as a stew, the thick and hearty consistency is wonderful.  Before changing my eating habits, I remember adding numerous saltine crackers to my soups to thicken them up, well, hopefully a little more food smart these days, I just add more vegetables! 

This can be served right away, or left in the crock pot to hold for later.  It's a crock pot full (I love having extra) so if you have leftovers, place in containers for lunch throughout your week, or freezer containers and you have that yummy meal ready for one of those days.  

Enjoy!