Despite my best efforts to boost our immunity, with two little ones at childcare, kinder, playgroup etc… Lately, we’ve had a rough run of catching nasty coughs, colds and tummy bugs. The weather here isn’t doing us any favours either. The transition so far from winter to spring has bought with it many wild and blustery winds, heavy rains and even hail. This of course, has resulted in many days trapped indoors. That’s not fun for anyone really…
Regardless, I’m determined to get us to a place of good health, so I’m upping the veggies, the probiotics and I’m bringing in the big guns… Chicken Soup!
Chicken soup with its nourishing vitamins, minerals, fats and acids has long been hailed a miraculous natural remedy for boosting immune health and curing all sorts of common ills. As well as that, it’s easy to digest and so flavoursome and comforting.
This soup is cooked using ‘lovely legs’ or chicken thighs on the bone. It is simmered slowly in the oven for up to 3 hours, using a cast iron pot. You can use a large casserole dish for this or if you prefer to use a stove top, bring it to a boil, and simmer the soup covered on a low to medium heat for up to two hours. You’ll know it’s ready as the chicken will start falling succulently from the bones. If you’re organised, you could also cook this in a slow cooker (crockpot) on low for 6 hours.
YOU WILL NEED
12 chicken thighs on the bone (skinless)
2 leeks, sliced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 parsnip, diced
Half a butternut pumpkin, roughly chopped
2 zucchinis, roughly chopped (the pumpkin and zucchini will cook faster than the other veg so I chop them a bit larger)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
1 inch knob of ginger, finely chopped or grated
4 cups good quality chicken stock preferably homemade
2 tsp Dried herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano, sage etc…
2 tsp tamari (or soy) sauce*
2 tsp raw local honey*
Fresh herbs to serve
A Crack or 2 of good quality salt and black pepper. (If using the tamari or soy, go easy on the salt!)
* These ingredients are optional but I like the subtle sweet and salty layer they give the soup. They are also flavours my children are fond of so i know this will encourage them to slurp up all those yummy veggies in the soup.
* Preheat the oven to 200dc (390 DF)
* Place all ingredients in a large cast iron pot making sure all ingredients are covered by the stock. (If not, top up with cold water)
* Cook at 200dc (390) for 1 hour and stir.
* Reduce oven temp to 160 dc (320df) and cook for a further 2 hours until chicken falls easily from the bone.
* Serve either with whole chicken pieces or shred meat from bones in advance with a fork.
* Scatter with fresh herbs (I used chives)
Enjoy the goodness 🙂