Another comfort food for our family is Homemade Chicken Soup. We make it several times every winter and it has become a
tradition for our Christmas Eve meal. My daughter & husband were home for a week and she asked me to make soup while she was home. Here’s the recipe, but note, that there is a lot of flexibility & measurements are not precise to say the least.
Homemade Chicken Soup
First, make the broth:
- 1 3-4 lb chicken, thawed if frozen (I put in the whole chicken, but you could cut it up if you wish)
- 3-4 Bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp. thyme
- 1 Tbsp. sea salt
- 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
- 1 large onion, cut in half
- 2-4 whole cloves (put them in the onion halves)
- 1 bulb garlic, cut in half
- 1-2 carrots, cut in large chunks
- 3-4 stalks celery, cut in large chunks
- Put all ingredients in a large pressure cooker. Put enough water in it to just cover the chicken.
- Put pressure cooker on stove, cover and heat to boiling, cooking for 15-20 minutes.
- Put the pressure cooker weight on the steam vent when it has been putting out steam for several minutes. Cook at 12 lbs pressure for 45 minutes. Turn the heat off and let pressure come back to normal.
- Remove the cover from the pressure cooker carefully… drain the chicken broth using a colander into a large stock pan. Discard all solids except the chicken. Remove the meat from the chicken bones and refrigerate until you make the soup. Put the broth in the refrigerator overnight. The next day you can remove any fat that rises to the top.
- You should now have some lovely chicken broth.
- If you don’t have a pressure cooker or choose not to use one, you can simmer all the above ingredients in a stock pot for several hours until the chicken is done and pulling easily from the bones.
Now put the soup together:
- 3/4 cup pearled barley
- 1 lb. carrots, sliced
- 5-6 stalks celery, sliced
- 2 large onions, chopped
- Diced chicken from the broth above – add as much as you wish. Sometimes I put some aside for sandwiches or another dish.
- 1 large bunch parsley, chopped (either curly parsley or flat Italian parsley)
- Chicken broth made above
- Put chicken broth on stove and heat to boiling.
- Rinse pearled barley in warm water and then add to the chicken broth. Cook 30 minutes or until almost done.
- Add carrots, celery, & onions. Cook 15-20 minutes or until done.
- Add the chicken and heat until simmering.
- Add parsley and cook another 5-10 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper.
- Serve with fresh bread or crackers.
I will sometimes add diced potatoes in addition to or in place of the barley.