This is the time of year when a big pot of chicken soup helps everyone feel better, whether you’re in the early stages of catching cold, or just need warming up.
• One chicken, whole or cut in pieces
• 2 fresh jalapeno peppers
• Garlic cloves
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 2 onions, peeled and diced
• 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
• 4 stalks celery, chopped, reserve the leaves for stock
• Chopped garlic
• Herbs and seasonings to taste: parsley, tarragon, basil, oregano, sage, chopped garlic
• 1 cup uncooked rice or barley
• 4 cups canned crushed tomatoes
Cover chicken with water in a large stock pot. Add celery leaves, unchopped, the whole jalapeno peppers, 3 or 4 garlic cloves, and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour, or until chicken is cooked through but not falling off the bone.
Remove from heat and transfer chicken, garlic cloves and celery leaves to a large bowl. Skim fat off top of chicken stock.
Take meat off bones and save; dispose of garlic cloves and celery leaves. Chop remaining vegetables and add to stock. With a spoon, break up the softened jalapeno peppers. Bring soup to a boil and simmer until carrots are tender, about an hour. Add uncooked rice and simmer another thirty minutes. Add chicken and heat through.
Makes a large pot that isn’t as spicy as one might think, considering the jalapenos. If you want less kick to it, use only one but remember it’s the peppers that contribute to its healing qualities.
Serving Suggestion: Herb Dumplings, Dad’s Cornbread, Best Apple Crisp