Dr. Sally's Chicken Vegetable Soup
Serves 8 in 90 minutes
This hearty vegetable chicken soup is perfect when you crave something warm and nourishing. It’s full of the nutrients and phytochemicals that have made chicken soup famous as a treatment for colds and the flu. This version employs the Chinese herb, astragalus, a root with potent immune-stimulating properties. It adds its medicinal qualities, while barely influencing the flavor. Purchase it at Asian markets or a Chinese herb store. This soup is intended to have a lot of broth, but if you prefer a thicker, stew-like consistency, add another potato or parsnips, which are gluten-free, rich in fiber and stabilize blood sugar levels. My version has an Italian twist with the addition of the leafy green, escarole, and tomatoes. If you prefer a more traditional style, omit these. Make a large batch on the weekend and freeze in small containers for those cold nights ahead!
2 lbs. organic, free-range chicken, or 8 bone-in chicken thighs
8 cups chicken broth (Imagine brand Organic Free-Range Chicken Broth)
8 cups filtered water
2 onions, chopped and divided in half
3 carrots, chopped and divided in half
2 stalks of celery, chopped and divided in half
2 T. garlic, minced
3 sticks Astragalus root (optional)
2 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 turnip or parsnip, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 T. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 t. dried oregano
1 14 oz. can tomatoes, chopped and drained (optional)
1 head escarole, rinsed and sliced into 1 inch pieces
2 T. sea salt and
1 t. black pepper
Gather and prep the ingredients. Place the chicken in a large (8 qt.) soup pot and cover with cold water and broth. Add the bay leaf, half of the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, astragalus and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 hour, until chicken is almost falling off the bone. Transfer the chicken to large bowl, pulling it apart to allow it to cool.
Add the rest of the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, along with the potatoes and return to a low boil, and cook for 15 minutes. Add the parsley and oregano, along with the turnip or parsnip and zucchini. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes, and then add the tomatoes and greens. Simmer another 10-15 minutes. Remove the astragalus and discard. Pull the cooled chicken from the bones and save the bones to make bone broth later. Return the chicken to the soup. Adjust the seasonings and serve. To Your Health!
Sally LaMont, ND, LAc