One Pot Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Hello!!!

Yes, I’m still here.  Sorry about the hiatus from the blogosphere, but I think that’s just how things are going to go for the next year and a half.  I’m going to keep posting as often as I can but what with grad school, unpacking the house, planning the wedding, and working, there’s just not a whole lot of free time.  Okay, enough excuses, let’s get on to the food!

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a few months, but my stats class got in the way of things.  I’ve been eating soup pretty much daily for the last four months.  I just love it so much.  It’s easy to make, it’s super healthy, it’s delicious, and you can make one giant pot and have lunch for two weeks!  I mean come on, what’s not to love?!?

One Pot Chicken and Vegetable Soup, (healthy) Vittles & Bits

There’s something so nice and comforting about a bowl of soup.  Even though the weather has be delightfully Spring-y this past week, I’ve still been enjoying soup for lunch every day.  Plus, I love that I can easily and fairly quickly make a huge batch, and yet there’s very few dishes to wash.  Anyone who’s ever lived with me knows how much I hate doing dishes.  It’s just such a pain in the ass. I get home from work, I have to make dinner, then I just want to relax and eat said dinner, and then the last thing I want to do is wash the dishes. Sooooo I don’t.  And then they sit there until I eventually give in and wash them a few days later.  Don’t judge me.  You’ve all done it at some point or another. Anyway…….back to soup.

One Pot Chicken and Vegetable Soup, (healthy) Vittles & Bits

One Pot Chicken and Vegetable Soup

One Pot Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, about 5 lbs (organic preferred)
  • 1 bag of frozen crinkle cut carrots
  • 1 bag of frozen pearl onions
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1 bag frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 1/2 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1 1/2 tbsp freeze dried chives
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper (~20 turns of the grinder)

Method:

  1. Take your whole chicken out of the bag and drain off the excess liquid. Remove the giblets from the body cavity and throw them away (or you can cook them for your fur babies). Place the whole chicken, breast side down, in a large soup pot and fill with water to cover the chicken by about 2 inches. Cover loosely with a lid and turn the burner on to high heat until it starts boiling. Then, turn down the heat to low (on my stove that has a heat range from 1-10 I usually have it set around a 3-4) and let it simmer for about 1-1.25 hours, until the meat is cooked through and super tender.
  2. Remove from heat and using tongs and a big ol' fork. Carefully lift the chicken out of the water and let the water drip back in to the pot for a few seconds, then transfer the chicken on to a large cutting board. Do NOT throw the cooking water out. This is your delicious broth. If you are less lazy than I am, you could certainly add some celery stalks, carrots, and onion chunks in with the chicken while it is boiled for an even more flavorful broth. If you do that, throw these pieces of vegetable out after they've boiled for an hour with the chicken because they'll be suuuuuuuuper mushy.
  3. Use the tongs to carefully peel the skin off the of the chicken and throw it out. At this point I usually break the chicken up into a few pieces just to expose more surface area so that it cools faster. Let the chicken cool for at least about 20 minutes. Trust me, you'll burn your fingers if you don't let it cool. Just look at all the steam comin' off that baby!
  4. After 20 minutes, turn the broth on to medium heat and add the frozen carrots, onions, and broccoli florets.
  5. Pick the chicken. The meat should be very soft and should peel away from the bones and rip and shred very easily. As you pick the chicken, make a pile for discarding (bones and skin and any large bits of fat) and then just throw the picked chicken pieces (I usually shred the chicken pieces pretty small, but if you'd rather have large chunks that is fine as well - your call) into the soup pot with the broth and veggies. Pick all the edible meat off the chicken carcass - waste not, want not! Your carcass should be pretty bare after you've finished with it....
  6. Add the remaining veggies to the pot (corn and chopped spinach) and stir. Turn heat up if needed. You want the soup to be heated all the way through.
  7. Add the spices (sage, chives, garlic powder, salt, pepper). Mix thoroughly and let simmer for at least 30 minutes until the veggies are soft and all the flavors are melded.
  8. Eat and enjoy! I always make this on Sunday and then put half in the fridge for lunches that week and half in the freezer for lunches the next week, but it will keep in the freezer for months.
http://www.healthyvittlesandbits.com/2016/03/14/one-pot-chicken-and-vegetable-soup/

One Pot Chicken and Vegetable Soup, (healthy) Vittles & Bits

Yuuuuummmmmmm.  Doesn’t it just look like a bowl full o’ comfort?

Luna is always very interested in the whole process.  She LOVES it when I make soup because she knows she’s going to get a few of those chicken scraps…

One Pot Chicken and Vegetable Soup, (healthy) Vittles and Bits

Look at her just waiting patiently (except she’s not really that patient actually) for me to give her some chicken bits.

This is her, I’m so adorable how can you resist me? Face.

One Pot Chicken and Vegetable Soup, (healthy) Vittles and Bits

She knows I’m a pushover.  But come on.  How can anyone resist those big brown eyes?  And those ears!  They’re so big and floppy and soft!!!

Now, of course there really isn’t anything super special about this recipe.  There’s no magic ingredient that makes it awesome.  Pretty much any soup is awesome.  I’ve been making soup with my mom since I was a little kid, so I guess there’s something about the whole soup-making experience that I find comforting and nostalgic.

One Pot Chicken and Vegetable Soup, (healthy) Vittles & Bits

I was talking about my love of soup to one of my coworkers the one day (as dietitians sometimes do), and she mentioned that she had no idea how to make soup.  I was like, “OMG it’s so easy!  All you need is a chicken and some frozen vegetables.”  She was like, “don’t you need to buy a bunch of cans of broth?”, and I said, “NO! Homemade broth is so much better and if you have the chicken already, then it’s FREE!”  So I wanted to put together this post to show anyone who doesn’t know that it’s easy, fast, and pretty cheap to make a TON of homemade soup. And of course this soup is delicious AND nutritious.  You can use whatever veggies you want too.  I generally use frozen veggies because they’re cheap and easy and require zero prep work aside from cutting open the bag – gotta love that. I have also thrown potatoes and sweet potatoes in there and that’s also delicious. And I have a bag of frozen butternut squash cubes to add to my next batch to see what that tastes like.  Zucchini would also be good in this soup.  And of course use whatever spices you’d like.  I just played around with it and found that I really like sage, chives, and garlic powder in my soup.

If you really wanted to make this soup low fat, you could easily do that. All you would need to do is, after you’ve removed the boiled chicken and you have just the plain broth in the pot, put the pot in the fridge overnight and then the next day carefully skim off the layer of fat that solidifies on top. Then proceed with the rest of the instructions.  I don’t do this because 1) fat is delicious and I like it in my soup, and 2) this would prolong the soup making process and I’m rather impatient.  If you want to read more about why it’s not necessary to make everything low fat and fat free, then read this post.

One Pot Chicken and Vegetable Soup, (healthy) Vittles & Bits

So what do you guys think?  Easy enough?

What would you add if you were making your “perfect pot” of chicken soup? 

 

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