Warm me Up!

Brrrrr.

A cold winter wind shakes the trees outside my window. Will it rain? Snow? Sleet?  Brrr.

Time for something warm and cozy. A nice flavor to fight off the winter blahs and the beginnings of a cold. Ahhhh — chicken soup. Good for the throat, digestion, attitude and soul.

The simple, quick way is to find the can opener, follow directions and warm.

The longer, slower way with the added benefit of a good smelling house is to make it yourself. I offer below an alternate to the usual chicken noodle – this one emphasizes vegetables and doesn’t have a noodle or grain of rice in sight.

Chicken – one whole, cut up fryer, or approx 3 lbs. parts

Cut chicken into large pieces and place in soup pot with one medium onion (cut up) and 4-5 stalks celery (diced). Add salt and pepper to taste and fill pot with water.  (Mine holds about 8 quarts.) Bring to a rolling boil then turn down to a simmer for 2-4 hours, until about 2 inches of water has boiled off and meat is falling off the bones.

Remove from heat. Let cool until comfortable to handle. Remove large pices of chicken from pot with slotted spoon or ladle. Separate meat, discard bones and skin.  Strain broth through colander to remove solids. Remove small bones from colander, return onion, celery, and chicken to broth.

Bring to a rolling boil. Add vegetables. The following is a guide – you will want to vary by taste and availability. One can diced tomatoes. One or two cans mushroom stems and pieces. Two bags frozen cut green beans. One or two bags frozen mixed vegetables. Bring back to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for at least one hour.

Freezes well to supply you through several stormy days or attackes of the sniffles.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

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