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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Recipe: Chicken Soup

Recipe: Chicken Soup

This recipe makes Chicken noodle soup, chicken and rice soup. It's yummy!
 About once a month I purchase a roasted chicken from the grocery store. I love it because it makes many meals for me (especially since I am an empty nester). 

After I've salvaged all the meat off the carcass, I use this to make chicken soup. Doing this helps me not waste food and eat on a budget. Plus, I hate canned soup. It's gotten so tasteless. I prefer homemade budget soup. 
 In a crockpot I throw the carcass of chicken, a diced onion, diced celery stalks and carrots. I usually only purchase baby carrots anymore. A rough cut is good enough because all these veggies will be thrown away. 

As another tip, when my produce starts looking sad, I cut it up and put in the freezer. Then I pull it out and make the chicken broth. I try to never throw away produce when it can be put in the freezer and not wasted. 
 Then I fill the crockpot with water. Cook on low for 24 hours. Yup, 24 hours to get all the goodness out of those chicken bones. 
 Look at all the goodness after 24 hours. Yum! I can smell the nutrients. 
 To start the chicken soup after the broth has cooked in the crockpot, I cut up another onion, celery and carrots into bite size chucks. 
 I add the vegetables to a pan with about 1/2 a cube of butter or 1/4 cup. I throw in a teaspoon of parsley and saute the vegetables until they are softened. I like mine with a semi crisp bite, not sauteed until there isn't any texture or bite in the vegetables. That is how I like mine. 
 To add additional flavor to the chicken broth I add a chicken soup and gravy mix that I find in the bulk section of Winco. 
 I love this mix for gravy and for soup. (this is the recipe from Winco that goes with the mix). 
 I add 3 Tablespoons of the mix with 1 tablespoon of flour for my soup after the vegetables have sauteed. 
 Then I saute the flour/chicken mix for about a minute or two. 
 While the vegetables are sauteing for the soup, I start taking out the bones and veggies from the broth in my crockpot. I use a mesh colander/drainer thingy. 
 It's hot so I dump it on a plate and sift through the veggies and bones to get as much meat that was left on the carcass. 
 It is enough to add to my soup. I love that I'm not wasting the meat I can't get off the bones. 
 Then I start adding the broth from the crockpot into the soup pan with the veggies and flour/chicken mix. I sift it through the mesh colander thingy because I don't want any stray bones to make it into my soup. 
 See, just a few stray bones that don't go in the soup. If there is meat to salvage then I add it to the pot of soup. 
Add the rest of the meat to the pot of soup that you salvaged from the crockpot. 
 To brighten the taste of the soup, I squeeze a 1/2 of lemon juice into the soup. 

I let it simmer for about an hour. 

 Then I ladle the chicken soup into freezer bags.  I love the tip to put the bag inside a jar with the bag folded over the edge. It makes it easier to fill freezer bags. 
 Label and throw into the freezer. I lay them flat so they don't take up much room in the freezer. 
 When you want some chicken soup, I cook some noodles (any kind you want) or rice. While that is cooking I take a bag out of the freezer, pop it into the microwave to defrost and then either heat it up in the microwave in a glass bowl or cook on a stove top. 
 I add the noodles into a bowl and then fill with chicken soup. 
 When I eat this homemade chicken soup, I can feel the nutrients fill my body. Such goodness!
I add the rest of the noodles I cooked into the bag of chicken soup I took out of the freezer and put it in the fridge for meals through the rest of the week. I probably cooked a little more noodles here then I usually do -- but it's OK. It was yummy.

That is how I cook homemade chicken soup for 1 person on a budget. Great for family meals too - but this is how I don't purchase canned soup anymore. 

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