This stock and soup are my go-to! The flavor is wonderful, and the soup has a soothing effect on both throat and tummy. It is also chock full of good vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatories such as turmeric, ginger, fennel, apple cider vinegar, and bay leaf! **None of these flavors comes out strong in the soup. They marry into a delightfully soothing stock you can enjoy any time!
Ingredients for Stock
*1 whole roasting chicken with giblets removed and kept aside (The chickens I use are usually 5-6 pounds)
*a small handful of peppercorns (about 1-2 tbsp.) or a sprinkling of ground black pepper (more like 1/4-1/2 tsp)
*a slightly smaller handful of salt (I like Himalayan pink salt, but any salt will do…if you use an iodized salt, use a little less as I find it more “salty“)
*small handful of whole fennel seeds (you can drop this to 1/2 tbsp if you are sensitive to the flavor of fennel as this is the flavor I notice most from the seasoning, though it is still not overpowering. (It is soothing to the tummy and has anti-inflammatory properties as well as being delicious, so I do recommend using at least a little in the stock if there is no allergy.)
*1 large or 2 small bay leaves
*1/4 tsp ground ginger
*1/4 tsp turmeric
*2 whole carrots, peeled
*2 celery stalks, cleaned up and cut in half
***optional: you can also add one whole onion, peeled and cut in half, or smash a few garlic cloves and throw in. When I started making this soup it was partially for someone with an allium allergy so I was unable to include these, but when I have in the past, any and all are delicious!
Additional Ingredients for soup
*2 cups carrot, chopped or sliced
*2 stalks celery sliced
*Any other veggies you choose to add
*A bay leaf
*Additional salt if needed
1. Add your dry ingredients into a stock pot or Dutch oven (you want a BIG pot).
2.Add your peeled carrots and cleaned/halved celery stalks.
3. Add whole chicken, reserved giblets (more iron and minerals and I promise the soup won’t taste like liver!!), and fill the pot up with water leaving about 2” of unfilled space at the top.
4. Turn heat to just above medium. Lay a wooden spoon across the pot to prevent it from boiling over and add 1 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar (you won’t taste it in the end. It helps pull calcium and nutrients from the bones, making for a richer stock–think bone broth!).
5. Stir every so often and check the liquid level. Add more water as needed to keep the chicken covered and enough to have a broth once the chicken is removed. After about 2 hours, I just let it cook down and the flavor develop. Otherwise it will be too watered down. It should be simmering or at a low boil. If it’s a rolling boil, your heat is too high.
6. Cook for 3 hours, or until chicken registers at 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer and is falling apart as in the photo.
7. Take a large mixing bowl and place a large colander/strainer inside it.
8. Remove chicken from stock to a platter, leaving the veg, broth, seasonings and giblets behind.
9. Pour stock into strainer over bowl. The strainer will catch the vegetables , any bones, and most-if not all- of the seeds and peppercorns. The stock will go through into the bowl.
10. Carefully lift strainer from the bowl allowing it to drain as you lift. You might have to shake it a bit as stock gets caught among the veg and assorted chicken parts left behind. Discard what is in the colander. The vegetables will have lost their flavor to the stock. (Take a taste if you don’t believe me! Blandest carrot I’ve ever tasted despite all the flavor in the stock.)
11. Seeds and peppercorns will be stuck to your stock pot. Rinse it until they are gone, then return pot to stove. Pour the stock back in along with a little water (1.5-2 cups) to give it time to cook down.
12. Strip chicken from bones, removing bones, cartilage, fat, and skin. I put the larger bones back into the soup as it cooks down for a little extra flavor and nutrition. Chop meat from one chicken breast to put back in soup along with dark meat (as much or little as you like. I usually end up with about 2/3 of the total chicken meat in the soup and the rest is saved for salads and sandwiches). Also add in your 2 cups chopped carrot and any other veg you want. I used just two more celery stalks, sliced. And finally top it off with a small sprinkling more of salt if you need it (always taste once the meat is cooked!!), and one new bay leaf.
13. Cook for 40 minutes on just over medium heat so you have a low boil. Again, no rolling boil!
14. Add the pasta of your choice. If you choose a long pasta like the linguine pictured here, you’ll want to break it into thirds. ***See note b) at the end of this post before doing this!!
15. Cook for recommended time for pasta.
16. Remove soup from heat. Fish out the large bones and bay leaf from soup and discard.
17. Your soup is ready to eat! Serve it up or put it away to freeze.
**A few words of warning/advice:
a) the soup had a lot of bone/cartilage/skin in it so when it gets cold, it will look like jelly. As it heats, it will melt down and return to normal very quickly. No need to add additional water.
b) If you choose to freeze it, be aware that as it defrosts/reheats, the noodles will lose some of their integrity and may even disintegrate. If you want to avoid this, skip the noodle step until you’re reheating the soup.