Continuing with my “What’s For Dinner” posts, today’s dinner will be a shorter version of my above photo of the Paleo Chicken Noodle soup, which as you recall, was done in a crock pot and took just about 24 hours to complete. I hope to keep these up daily, along with my otherwise enjoyable daily posts about my other meals, and my random food thoughts. And so far, so good! So, here it is:
Chicken Vegetable Soup
- 1 lb Chicken meat (your favorite cuts; for soup, I prefer chicken thighs)
- 2 Leeks, chopped
- 1 Zucchini, chopped (not peeled)
- 2 Parsnips, chopped (small; 1 if medium)
- 2 Carrots, chopped (not “baby” carrots)
- 2 Sweet Potato or Yam, chopped
- 4-6 oz White Button Mushrooms, sliced (Shiitake will be great here too)
- 8 oz Celery, chopped
- Your favorite soup spices; I will be using Turmeric, Italian seasoning, Sea Salt, ground Pepper
Several hours before dinner: I suggest starting the meat immediately, adding the turmeric, some salt, some pepper, and some Italian seasoning, 4 oz of the chopped celery, and one of the sweet potatoes. The flavor of the celery is important for the stewed chicken, and it will retain that flavor. You don’t want to use all of the celery, though, because you still want that flavor to be prominent in the final dish, and the best way to do that is by having some fresh celery added in close to serving time. You want one of the sweet potatoes to have mostly fallen apart, becoming part of the broth by the time you serve, while the other will be added later, so that it contributes to the colors of the dish. The chicken in a chicken soup is excellent if it’s allowed to stew for several hours on a low heat; a crock pot is perfect for this if you have one available. Let this cook until approximately 1 hour before serving.
About an hour before serving: add the mushrooms, parsnips, carrots, and the other sweet potato. Make sure to stir it well, so that the vegetables are well mixed. If you did not cut up the chicken before hand, now is the time to take the chicken out of the pot (you can leave the vegetables in) and make sure the chicken is also in bite-sized pieces, like the vegetables. I have a general rule of thumb that the primary flavor ingredients should always be the largest sized ingredient in a dish. And while that’s true for chicken soup as well, the pieces should still be bite sized as we don’t eat soup with a knife! Ok, joking aside, put the chicken back in the pot and let the mushrooms and root vegetables cook with it.
About 15-20 minutes before serving: add the remaining celery, the leeks, and all of the zucchini. These are soft enough vegetables that if you add them too soon, they will not retain either their flavor or their texture, and both are important for the soup. Also, now is the time to taste test the broth. You’ll need to add more Italian seasoning, sea salt, and pepper at this point, to make certain that the flavor is what you’re looking for. As always, use the seasoning sparingly, and taste frequently. It’s better to be just under than just over, especially with salt.
And enjoy! For more “What’s For Dinner” suggestions, be sure to check back to Urban Paleo Chef every day!