Updated: May 20, 2021
There’s nothing like a hot bowl of chicken soup on a cold day. As the temperature drops this season, this soup will warm the soul with every sip. I love how I can make one big batch of the broth and then decide which direction I want to take it.
Once the broth is made, I can add angel hair pasta, rice or (as I’ve done below) freekeh. With the use of rice, the starch that’s left over after light washing makes the broth thicker and creamier. Freekeh is a grain I enjoy using. Often, I use it in recipes instead of rice because it’s bolder and has more flavor than rice. Freekeh is high in fiber, vitamins and protein. It has a slight smoky flavor. It’s such a tasty addition to a soup that we love to eat while we’re not feeling great. You can buy freekeh online or at Whole Foods. The broth is also freezable.
1 (4 lb) whole chicken
1 bay leaf
1 onion, quartered
4 cardamon pods
1 fennel bulb, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
5 celery slakes, sliced
1/2 cup freekeh
1/2 cup basmati rice, washed a little to remove some starch
Or 1 cup if using one grain
Salt and pepper
Garnish with swiss chard or slices of avocados
Yield: serving for 6
Prep Time: 45- 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Place the chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Add the bay leaf, onion, cardamon pods, celery leaves and parsley. Bring to a boil on medium heat, then lower the heat and let the stock simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove the chicken. Place on a cutting board, and when cool enough to handle, remove the meat. Cut into chunks.
Strain the stock through a fine sieve into either one clean pot or divide it into two small pots (approximately 7 cups in each pot).
Add the carrots, celery and the fennel to the pot/pots.
Simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
Add the chicken meat back into the pot/pots.
Add the rice or the freekeh.
Simmer for another 20 minutes.
Season to taste. Garnish with rainbow swiss chard, or avocado slices.