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 an Asian market , Chinese herb store or click here to get it on Amazon. 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, diced and divided in half
3 carrots, diced and divided in half
2 stalks of celery, diced and divided in half
2 tablespoons. garlic, minced
3 sticks Astragalus root (optional)*
2 Yukon gold (yellow) potatoes, diced
1 parsnip, ½ inch diced
1 zucchini, ½ inch diced
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1 14 oz. can tomatoes, chopped and drained (optional)
1 head escarole, rinsed and sliced into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons sea salt and
1 teaspoons 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 and astragalus, half of the onion, carrots, celery, garlic 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 and pull it apart to allow it to cool.
Add the rest of the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and salt, along with the potatoes and return to a low boil, and cook for 15 minutes. Add the parsley and oregano, along with the parsnip and zucchini. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes, and then add the tomatoes and escarole. Simmer another 10-15 minutes. Remove the astragalus and bay leaves 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. A Sante ~ To Your Health!
Dr. Sally LaMont is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist practicing in Larkspur, California. Her passion is using food as medicine to optimize health and prevent disease. Subscribe at http://www.drsallyskitchen.com/ for more recipes and vital health information.
Sally LaMont, ND, LAc