March 19, 2016 by Suzanne
Grain-free, Paleo, Low-Carb, Dairy-Free
I had cooked chicken and fresh stock that I needed to use tonight, but I felt completely uninspired by the thought of making and eating traditional chicken noodle soup, and the rest of the family felt the same way. I went in search of something new and came up with this.
The first step in this soup is to have 2 cooked chickens, so next time you buy a rotisserie chicken or roast your own, get/make 2. You can also cheat by freezing a carcass until the next time you have another chicken to use.
All the leftover non-meat bits from 2 chickens, including bones, skin, and juices.
one onion, cut in 5-6 pieces
one carrot, cut into big chunks
Salt and pepper
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 T minced garlic
1-2 T olive oil
3/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced
5-6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise then cut into bite sized chunks
1 yellow crookneck squash, quartered lengthwise then cut into bite sized chunks
2-3 chicken breasts, cubed (use what you’ve got left after previous meals)
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 pinch oregano
3 large handfuls baby spinach
1 T Chicken Better Than Bouillon, if needed
To make the stock, put all the stock ingredients in a large pot, cover everything with water, and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, turn it down to a low simmer, cover, and then let it go for however long you want, but at least 3 hours. The longer you simmer it, the more minerals will dissolve out of the bones and into the stock. To be honest, my usual method is to turn it on, walk away and then forget about it for several hours until I smell something tasty and remember that I’m making chicken stock.
When it’s done, pour the stock through a strainer and discard the solids.
I usually refrigerate the stock so the fat will condense and make it far easier to remove. If you do this and you see you’ve made chicken jello, don’t worry, it’s normal and it will liquefy when heated. If you save the chicken fat, you can use it to cook with or use it as a alternative to butter on potatoes or veggies. It’s actually quite good.
When the stock is prepared and you’re ready to make the soup, saute the onion and bell pepper in a large pot with a little olive oil. When the onions are almost translucent, add the garlic and saute everything together until the onions are done.
Add in the chicken stock, mushrooms, and tomatoes and bring to a light boil. When it’s boiling, let the mushrooms and tomatoes cook for about 10 minutes.
Add in the zucchini, yellow squash, chicken, basil, and oregano. Boil for about 5-8 more minutes. The squash has a tendency to look undone, and then overcook once you turn the heat off, so don’t feel like you should let it go until it looks completely cooked through.
At the end, throw in 3 big handfuls of baby spinach and cook for about a minute before removing the soup from the heat.
At this point, taste it and see what you think. If it’s a little bland and not savory enough, add in some Chicken Better Than Bouillon. You could add salt instead, but I find just a little bouillon gives a richer flavor.
This soup would be great to serve with some sandwiches, or with a salad. Now that warmer weather is approaching, it would also be a good summer time soup.