Step by Step Homemade Chicken Soup
Nothing warms me up like a hot, steaming bowl of soup after spending a day outside in the cold. January is the perfect time to make up large batches of soup to enjoy right away and freeze to enjoy at a later date! Making soup from scratch allows you to control how much sodium is in it and how fatty or fibrous it is. My favourite part of homemade soup is when I boil the bones to make broth. There’s just something about using what’s left from one meal to make another that gives me the warm fuzzies. Plus this is a great way to ensure you don’t waste leftovers!
Ingredients for Roast
1 Whole Chicken (I used a 5 lb free range chicken)
4 Cloves of Garlic
Fresh Thyme if available
3 Tbs Olive Oil
4 Tbs of spices (I used a lemon herb rub but you can use any combination of spices you like as this won’t really transfer to your soup)
The first step to making delicious chicken soup is cooking up our chicken.
Ensure that that cavity of your chicken is clean. Preheat oven to 375° F. Slice one lemon into four pieces and place inside cavity along with 3-4 cloves of garlic and fresh sprigs of thyme. Mix spices and olive oil and rub on chicken. Drizzle with additional olive oil if desired (or if you forget to mix olive oil in with your spices like I did).
Tie the chickens leg together with twine and place chicken in roasting pan. Put in the oven uncovered at 1 1/4 hours per 3 lbs. My chicken was approximately 5 lbs so I cooked it for 2 hours. Your skin will be crispy and your meat will be tender.
If you’re like me and you get worried your skin is getting too crispy feel free to flip it half way through. Baste chicken every 20-30 minutes to keep it moist.
Once chicken has reached an internal temperature of 175° F it is done. Carve it up and put your leftovers in the fridge. You’ll want to save at least one breast and one thighs worth of meat. Remove all bones and place them in your crock pot.
The next section to making our soup is making the broth. This will take 12 hours so it’s easiest to do this overnight.
Place carcass and all bones into your crockpot and fill with water. Make sure all of the carcass is covered by water. Don’t worry if this looks like too much water as it will reduce as it cooks over night and when you add your grains in the next day. Add 1/2 Tbs of salt.
Put the lid on your crockpot and set temperature to low. Let this cook for 12 hours. After your 12 hours has elapsed remove the lid and give it a stir. Using a pasta fork remove large pieces of carcass and set aside. Pour or ladle broth into a large stove pot using a fine colander to remove any remaining pieces of bones or meat. Your broth is done and now it’s time to add our meat, veggies and grains!
Ingredients For Soup
Broth from one carcass
1 1/2 medium chicken breast (or 1 breast and 1 thigh)
4 large carrots
6 branches of celery
1 1/2 cups of frozen peas and corn
2 cups of desired pasta (I used small shell)
1 clove of garlic
Onion (if desired)
Now that our broth is in our stove pot we can place that on a burner and set it to low heat. At this point I like to pick out whatever meat is with our carcass that we set aside and add it to the pot. This step is optional as most of our meat will come from our leftovers in the fridge. Once you have added the meat from the bones you can add the rest from the fridge. You can either chop or tear up this meat. I like to tear mine because as it cooks it will fall apart more into little strips.
Set burner to medium low. Chop carrots, celery and onion if using, into bite sized pieces. Slowly add to pot to avoid splashing. Measure out frozen peas and corn into a bowl and set aside to thaw.
Turn your burner up slightly to medium and let your veggies cook. Stir occasionally and leave uncovered. Now it’s time to start flavouring the broth. No two broths are ever the same which is why I rarely keep track of how many of each spice I put in. Taste your broth while it cooks (make sure it cools off first!) and add Salt, Thyme, Parsley and Bay leave (I prefer ground instead of whole). Add other spices if desired and keep tasting to make sure your flavour is where you like it. You can also add your chopped garlic at this time. Let this continue to cook for about an hour.
After an hour your celery and carrots should be cooked. Slowly add your peas and corn to avoid splashing. Bring your soup to a slight boil and add your pasta. I usually add a cup of warm-hot tap water at this point as the pasta is going to absorb a lot of water as it cooks. Add more water if needed and continue to taste and flavour broth as needed. Once pasta is cooked you can reduce or turn off heat. Serve right away or keep warm on stove for later.
If you have lots of leftovers freeze in single portion containers for an easy meal at a later date! Want to see more of how this soup was made? Check out our story highlight “Chicken Soup” on Instagram @erinsecoadventure