It’s that time of the season, weeeeeee! Yes snowy slopes and icy ponds, but also runny noses, sore throats and tired, achy bodies.
Chicken soup in its simplicity, has helped many a family get through the winter’s rough patches – each ethnicity and generation adding something different to the recipe. Find out some of foods/spices you can add to really “beef up” your chicken soup.
So let’s talk about different liquid bases for our soup. Many cultures around the world generally use the same liquid base, like water as the basis of their stock or broth. Some cultures then add other liquids like coconut milk to give a really nice, flavorful soup.
You want to stay away from many of the already made stock on the market. They contain things like: Table salt, sugar, yeast extract (MSG), maltodextrin, preservatives and crappy oils.
Then we have the animal that will be the creation of the stock. I know I said “chicken soup” in the title of this post, but you can use chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, beef, etc basically anything that will give you protein, fat and flavor. In a quick pinch, you can take a bunch of defrosted chicken drumsticks or wings or basically any part and throw it in a pot with plenty( i mean p-l-e-n-t-y) of water. Make sure it is filtered water, no flouride or chlorine.
Don’t be afraid to throw in the bones, the livers, the feet (chicken or pig), the gizzards, etc. All these part contain lots of nourishing proteins and vitamins(and minerals) and will create some really nice flavors to your soup. I use the bones of the carcass of a roasted chicken we had for dinner and add that along with the organs to a big pot of water and let it simmer for a few hours.
Now it's the veggies. This is fun because not does it only add to the flavor, but also to the nutritional factor of the soup. You want to have a variety of these foods to really create an assortment of nutrients for the ailing body. Try to take a veggies from literally every color of the rainbow. And use as much of the vegetable , if not the whole vegetable.
Herbs. My favorite ingredients. This is really some of the key boosters and the reason “chicken soup” really hits the spot for anything that bothers you. What makes them really pack a punch is when they are FRESH!
Grains. Not my favorite ingredients, but there are some winners. Barley is one of them. Sometimes I’ll add quinoa.
Last is the spices, though not the least important. Some of the best parts of your soup will be the medley of spices that will dance on your tongue and play with you sense of smell. I really attribute how well my chicken soup keeps my stomach happy and my sinuses clear by the ginger and hot pepper I put in my soup.
Below is a list of different foods, spices, and herbs you can use in your soup. Get creative, go crazy! Enjoy your soup.
Protein: Turkey, Chicken, Fish, Beef, Lamb, Duck, Mussels
Veggies: Carrots, Onions, Shallots, Celery, Bok Choy, Spinach, Parsnips, scallions,bean sprouts, Any sprouts, jalepenos, Nori, Kelp, Turnips, etc……
Herbs: Italian Parsley, Cilantro, Sage, Oregano, Rosemary, Ginger, Garlic, bay leaf, fresh basil, mint, lemon balm, musturd seed, celery seed, etc……
Spices: Thai basil, Basil, Galangla, Smoked cayenne, Cayenne, Red pepper flakes, Habenero sauce, Tarragon, Powdered ginger (if fresh isn’t available), kimichi paste, paprika, curry, Turmeric, cumin, coriander, fennel, fenugreek, horseradish, and so many others.
Extras: you can always add gelatin to your soup, a fried or boiled egg, some organic noodles if you want.
Though I love my instant pot, this calls for classic stove top or slow cooker (yes i know instant pot has slow cooker option) because who doesnt like those wonderful smells wafting through the house?!