Chicken soup is one of those things that we've all grown up on. If your childhood was anything like mine, at an early age you became accustomed to condensed soup with little star-shaped noodles in it. Of course we all just accepted that chicken soup tasted like that and came out of the can in a pile of goo and needed to be thinned out with water.
However, once I got into cooking and married my soup-crazed husband, I realized how many fantastic homemade soups are out there and how much healthier they can be, especially in the sodium department.
Once of my favorite things about soup is that you can really amp up the veggies and all it does it make the flavor bolder. One of the top blogs I read is Pioneer Woman's. To be honest, I don't do a ton of her recipes very often because they tend to be heavier in the red meat and fat department, but once in awhile I try one and it always turns out well. Her desserts are usually fantastic too! When I saw this recipe of hers for chicken soup that involved an ENTIRE chicken, I knew I had to try it. Not to mention, purchasing a whole chicken was cheaper than a 1 lb. package of chicken breasts at the grocery store!
This is a great recipe, the broth is really flavorful and I always use a low-sodium non-fat chicken broth and barely had to add much salt at all because the chicken flavored the broth so well as it cooked. You can really add any soup-friendly veggies to this dish, if you do want to add something like string beans or a quick-cooking vegetable, do so at a max of 30 minutes before serving so you don't end up with mush.
This recipe is pretty much exactly hers from her blog, I changed the seasoning a little bit and I used 8 cups of broth and 2 cups of water instead of pure broth. It is crazy-easy and so delicious, let me know if you try it - I'm thinking of adding noodles next time!
Pioneer Woman's Chicken Soup
- 1 whole Chicken
- 2 tbsp. Herbs de Provence
- 8 cups chicken broth (I use low-sodium and nonfat broth)
- 2 cups water
- 1 whole Large Onion, Chopped
- 3 whole Ribs Of Celery, Sliced
- 3 whole Carrots, Peeled And Chopped
- 3 whole Parsnips, Peeled And Chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt (taste and season as needed)
- Pepper (to taste)
1. Place all ingredients but the pepper into a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
2. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 2 hours. Remove from heat and remove the chicken from the pot (carefully!). Shred or chop meat from the carcass and return to the pot, adjusting seasoning as needed (add pepper). Soup can simmer for as long as you like on the stove before serving. YUM!