HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP

I love soup. And even though LA has been experiencing a serious heatwave the last few months, I am going to start making and eating a lot of soup. Hopefully, fall will take a hint and show up one of these days. Soup really does cure all ailments whether it be a bad day at work, a fight with your husband or boyfriend, or a persistent cold. I like to keep it simple when it comes to Homemade Chicken Soup. Noodles or rice, a few diced carrots, celery, and onion, a little dill or parsley, and lots of salty chicken stock. There is nothing better than that.

HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK

1 whole chicken, 3 1/2 – 4 pounds
1 1/2 – 2 gallons of water
2 carrots, peeled
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
1 head of garlic, cut in half
3 celery stalks
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 large bay leaf
1 bunch each of parsley, dill, and basil. Optional to add a bunch of thyme.

Rinse the chicken and place in a large stock pot. Fill the pot with water and place on the stove. Turn heat on medium high and bring to a boil. Once the water is bowling, reduce heat to a simmer, add the carrots, onion, garlic, celery, peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley, dill, and basil or thyme. Cook for 50 minutes. Carefully remove the whole chicken from the stock pot and cut off the breast meat. Let the breast meat cool and store in the refrigerator until it is time to make the soup. Return the chicken to the stockpot and cook for 3-5 hours on a simmer. Strain. If using immediately, skim the fat off the top and season with salt. I do not completely season the stock at this point, as it will get seasoned more when it cooks with the soup. Any stock you do not use in the soup below, refrigerate or freeze for later use.

CHICKEN AND RICE SOUP

6-8 cups homemade chicken stock
Reserved chicken breast, shredded
2 cups of brown or white rice, cooked
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery halved and diced
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
Handful of chopped parsley
1 teaspoon of dry dill or tablespoon of fresh dill chopped
Salt
Pepper

In a medium sauce pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the carrots, onions, and celery. Stir and coat with oil, cooking until the onions become translucent but not browned. Season with salt and pepper. Once the the vegetables have started to break down, slowly add in the homemade chicken stock. Add in the reserved shredded chicken.Turn heat down to a simmer and let soup cook for 30 minutes. Add parsley and dill and taste seasoning. If necessary, add salt and pepper. Don’t be afraid to season your soup. Keep tasting it, seasoning until you have balanced out the flavors. Once the soup is ready, grab your bowls. Fill each bowl with a scoop of brown or white rice. Pour the soup mixture on top of the rice and fill each bowl to the top. Sprinkle any remaining chopped parsley or dill on top for garnish.

Serve.

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