Monday, January 30, 2012

Chicken Soup, with fresh herbs!

This is the chicken soup my Mom used to make... but with chicken base instead of bouillon cubes, and adding a nice handful of fresh herbs. Mom used butter or margarine in her soup to make a richer broth; I usually leave it out.

When this soup is finished, you can add anything you want - mixed vegetables, noodles,  rice, etc. ( my husband especially loves it with Bisquick dumplins). For Thanksgiving bread dressing, I use the broth and vegetables without adding any chicken meat back to it. There are always several two-serving containers of chicken soup in my freezer, for a quick hot dinner!

Jules' Chicken Soup

1 whole chicken
1 onion, chopped
4-6 stalks celery with leaves, chopped (about 2 cups?)
½ to 1 stick butter/margarine (optional)
Chicken Base* (3 heaping tsp.)
6 sprigs Thyme
1 sprig Sage
3 stalks Parsley
1 small sprig Rosemary
Salt & Pepper to taste

Place chicken in a large pot with water to cover. Add onion, celery, butter/margarine. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until chicken is done (about 45 minutes to 1 hour). Add chicken base and herbs; simmer for 15 minutes more. Remove chicken from soup, allow to cool slightly. Remove meat from bones and chop into bite-sized pieces. Return meat to soup and heat through before serving.  Freezes very well.

*Chicken base is a concentrated chicken broth paste, similar to bouillon but fresher tasting. You may add more or less, to taste, but be aware that chicken base is salty like bouillon. If your soup ends up too salty, boiling a few potatoes in it will absorb some of the salt. 

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