Despite my thoughts yesterday about my plan to reduce animal products in my diet, I decided to make chicken soup today. Actually, chicken soup does fit into my plan to eat well. It falls into the home prepared and locally raise category. The meat: locally raised Swiss chickens. The produce: local carrots, onions, celery root, dill, and parsley from my own herb garden. Chicken soup is best with parsnip, but there weren’t any at the grocery store this afternoon. I double up on celery when that happens, I find that it balances out the sweetness from the carrots.
Now, my BF prefers when I add salt, but I never taste the need. I’ve been told that I under-salt when I cook, but I guess I don’t have much of need for it myself. So, I always throw in a few pinches just for him. I’m also out of peppercorns. I don’t really believe that I am out of peppercorns, I just can’t seem to find them. Of course, if you knew how tiny my kitchen is you would believe that I am absolutely out of peppercorns, cause there really aren’t many places for jar to hide.
My mother makes huge amounts of chicken soups every year from the turkey bones left over after Thanksgiving and Passover. I was about twenty years old before I realized it was actually turkey soup and not chicken. It always seemed like such an effort because of the amount she makes and then jars and freezes. I never imagined that it was the kind of meal I could just whip up for dinner, but it is really quite easy as long as I allow enough time to simmer so the water really absorbs the chicken flavor, at least two hours.
I love making chicken soup. There is something so satisfying about tossing a few ingredients into a pot of water and making something out of it. And chicken soup will forever hold onto its mythical therapeutic power, after a long day, a cold day, a bad day or just another day, chicken soup is the perfect way to relax at home. About another hour and then it will be ready. I can’t wait.