There is nothing better than a hearty bowl of chicken soup. Good for the soul, great for your health.
When it comes to the winter months, we have learned to freeze as many vegetables and herbs as possible if we want to eat something fresh. This is where my chest freezer comes in handy.
Throughout the winter, I also purchase whole organic chickens or turkey for dinner. Then I freeze the bones to use for soup stock – which definitely has more flavor than anything store bought.
If you haven’t made your own soup stock before, it’s pretty simple.
Creating Your Own Chicken Stock
- In a large pot, add the chicken bones and 6 to 8 quarters of water.
- Add a few tablespoons of salt (season, taste and add more if needed). Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and let the bones simmer for 45 to an hour.
- Your stock and bones now need to be strained. In a large bowl or another pot, add a strainer to the top and pour the broth into the other container. The strainer will catch the excess bones and fat – which you can discard.
- Since the broth is full of flavor, you can choose to use ALL of it for your chicken soup. Or, split it up by freezing half and using the other half for your soup. Add 2-3 quarts of water for your soup stock though.
Recipe for Chicken and Vegetable Dumpling Soup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour (separate from making stock)
Chicken and Vegetables:
- 2-3 cups of diced chicken
- 2-3 cups of diced carrots
- 2 cups of diced celery
- 1 cup of diced red onion
- 2 cups of diced kale or spinach
- 2 cups of diced russet potato (optional)
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 4 to 6 quarts of chicken stock and water (depending on how much liquid you prefer)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-1/2 cups of flour (all-purpose gluten-free, if you eat like me)
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare your vegetables and chicken by dicing them into bite size pieces. Keep in mind that the vegetables will shrink slightly during cooking. Above mentioned veggies can be changed and subbed for whatever you might have on hand. Other great additions to the soup would be… leeks, peppers, parsnips, zucchini and more.
Begin to add everything to the soup pot – start by adding the veggies and chicken. Season with herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and allow the soup to simmer for at least 45 minutes to an hour. Stir occasionally.
Dumplings should ONLY be added at the end – otherwise, the liquid could break it down and you’ll end up with mushy soup.
Start by making the flour, milk and egg in a separate medium size bowl. I find that using a fork is the easiest way to mix it. The dough should be firm enough to form a ball. Use a regular tablespoon to scoop the dough and drop it into the soup. Continue this process until the dough is gone. Cover the pot for at least 5 minutes to allow the dumplings to harden.
Remove from heat and serve!
We enjoy making our soup at home because, we KNOW what’s in it. I’ve recently stopped buying and eating processed soup. Most of the canned soups are drenched with preservatives and, frankly, it’s disgusting.
It is rewarding to grow our own food and then be able to eat it even during the winter months. I hope that your family loves and enjoys this recipe as much as mine!
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*Above image is an original photo taken by Mara Rose.