|Chicken and Vegetable Soup with a Whole Wheat and Flaxseed Biscuit|
Time to clean out the fridge.... how about some chicken soup?
Sometimes you have vegetables in the fridge that are ready for stock, but not compost. While their addition to a soup would contribute nutrients and depth of flavour, you might not want the texture in the final bowl. Wilted greens, washed carrot peels, beet tops, celery ends, stuff like that.
This is what I call a crock pot hybrid: a recipe where you can use your crock pot, but not in the true sense of chucking stuff in and coming back in eight hours. You chuck stuff in, come back in four hours to tamper with it, chuck more stuff in, and serve in another two to three hours. Essentially, you are making a stock, then a soup.
For the first part, round up any veggies in the fridge that you would normally throw into a stock. I had some sad baby romaine and a container of tomato seeds and pulp strained from an earlier batch of tomato soup. If I had spinach, head lettuce, sprouts, or carrot tips they would go in at this point. Add them all to the crock pot along with an organic chicken thigh per two servings. (Thighs are cheap and easy to pick from a soup.)
Put enough water over the stock veggies and chicken to just cover. Put a lid on the crock pot and let it stew for about four hours.
For the next step, you are going to clarify the stock. Take the chicken out and set aside in a bowl. Pour all of the liquid through a strainer into a large bowl, pressing it with a spoon. My strainer is not that big, so I poured it in three different batches. Press as much of the liquid out as you can, and put the pellet aside for future bone broth. Return the stock to the crock pot, straining again if you wish.
Remove the bones, cartilage and skin from the chicken, and set it aside for a future batch of bone broth. Return the chicken meat to the crock pot.
Add whatever vegetables you would like to have in the soup. I had leftover garbanzos and peas; in they went. I chopped up some carrots and celery to add as well. (This would be the time to add potatoes and onions, but my crock pot had enough in it already for this round.)
Season with a half teaspoon each of: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. (I always hum Scarborough Fair when seasoning poultry.) Cover with another four cups of water and allow to cook until the carrots and potatoes, if applicable, are tender.
Salt to taste, half a teaspoon at a time. I used a teaspoon of lite salt for about two and a half quarts of soup.
For more soup ideas, check out Sunday Night Soup Night!