It’s that time of year (again) that dreaded colds and flus are making their way around. My hubby returned from a business trip with “the sniffle”, my work wife’s (HI, AMY!) family are trading it back and forth with each other and the rest of their daycare, and I am fighting a bit of a dry cough that sounds like barking seals. Not cute. So, I decided to whip up a pot of my family’s magic soup – which is similar to Mexican Chicken Soup, but with a few variations. While chicken soups don’t tend to be super exciting or overly different, I can honestly say that the biggest difference – and biggest contributor to relieving sickness – is using whole food ingredients and spices, not boxed or packaged stuff.
4-6 garlic cloves
1 whole spanish onion
4 medium sized yellow potatoes
4 large carrots
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chili flakes
1 handful coriander or cilantro
1 chicken carcass
1L of potato water (optional)
4-6L water (depending on the size of your soup pot)
1-4 In a food processor, chop garlic, onion and jalapeños. I have a 2-cup processor so I did each ingredient separately. I used 6 garlic cloves, the whole onion, and 3 jalapenos (2 with seeds in and 1 without. This made my soup nearly inedible so make sure to gage the spices to your own tastes).
5- Combine all in your soup pot with a tbsp of olive oil. Sauté the ingredients over medium-low heat until the onions are a nice golden brown.
6- Add in your chicken carcass. I used one leftover from a rotisserie chicken we had made the previous week. (After dinner I cleaned off most of the meat, leaving some for the soup, and tucked it away in a freezer ziploc bag.)
7- Add in your potato water. This step in optional, but I really recommend trying it at least once. I saved the water from potatoes boiled for dinner the night before, and used this as part of my soup base. My grandma and mom have used potato water for cooking and baking ever since I can remember. It adds a nice flavour to the broth and retains the nutrients that were boiled out of the potatoes.
8- Add in 4-6 L of water, bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 min. Now, this may vary depending on the size of your pot and how quickly the broth reduces when boiling. Try to avoid using bouillon cubes (dehydrated stock formed into small cubes) but if you really need to add something, use a low sodium boxed liquid broth. If you are using a chicken carcass, you will get most of the flavour from that.
9- Add in chopped carrots, potatoes, and coriander. Continue to simmer for 20 min.
Optional – add chili flakes and sea salt to taste.