The weather is really playing with us. Some weeks it feels like spring, other’s still very much winter. I can’t seem to make up my mind on whether or not I should be eating salads or stews. In the end, my body still craves the comfort food despite the randomly increasing temperatures. This hearty vegetable and protein rich soup is the perfect dish to warm your bones when the night temperatures drop, leaving you satisfied and nourished. This soup is filled with tons of vegetables, mostly roots, and leafy greens to get your rainbow of nutrients in one dish. Soups in our book are not mostly broth, they are hearty. They are a filling meal that will satisfy your hunger at it’s deepest level.
All these ingredients are either organic or pastured. They are local, if possible, and always the best quality. So when you dip your spoon into this rich bowl of real food, you know you are getting the most out of it. This list of ingredients tends to vary every time we make soup; it all depends on what is in our fridge. Sometimes we add parsnips or purple turnips. Sometimes we use kale or spinach as our green. Have some leeks? Throw them in. Most roots are accepted, and even preferred–the more the better. We don’t stick to the classic onion, carrot, celery combo, though I’m not saying that is not delicious. We simply prefer to have as much veg as possible, because why not? It gives it a deeper and more sophisticated flavor. This recipe should be easy. It’s a one-pot meal you can throw together with what you have. Enjoy the process of washing and preparing the vegetables, as you will taste that love and care in the final product.
Notice how we used a rooster instead of a chicken? Because roosters tend to be more tough, they do better cooked longer in soups and stews so they become tender. Otherwise, you have a tougher meat. Since we had a rooster, we used that. Feel free to use a chicken if that is what you have. Also, this recipe makes a lot of soup. You can make the full recipe and freeze the rest. Or cut the ingredients in half to suit your family. Then you could use just some parts of a chicken instead of the whole thing.
I wanted to garnish this with parsley, not just because it’s beautiful, but because fresh herb adds something lively to a dish. Herbs are like splash of lemon; they brighten things up. And in this case, we had parsley and that happened to work perfectly. Feel free to enjoy this soup as is; it really doesn’t need anything else. But if you’d like, serve with homemade sourdough bread with tons of grass-fed butter of course, or rice, millet, or quinoa.
What You’ll Need:
- 1 whole pastured rooster, or chicken
- 3-4 onions, chopped
- 4-5 carrots, trimmed and chopped
- 1 bunch of celery, chopped
- 1 celery root, peeled and chopped
- 4 turnips, trimmed and chopped
- 1 bundle of swiss chard (about 9 leaves), very end trimmed off and chopped
- About 3 T sea salt, or to taste
- parsley for garnishing
- water or stock for boiling
What to Do:
- Add your whole rooster or chicken to a large pot. Cover entirely with water or stock if you prefer, plus a few more inches. We used a large pot, filled about 3/4 of the way.
- Boil the rooster for at least 2 hours, or until fully cooked and meat is ready to fall off the bone. Remove the rooster from the broth and let cool.
- Prepare your vegetables in consecutive order as listed. Begin by washing all of them, and trimming and cutting as necessary. All will be cut into about 1×1 inch chunks (or smaller depending on what you’d like). Add to your broth except salt and swiss chard which we will add later.
- Bring your soup back up to a boil on medium heat and cook for about 15 minutes or aldente.
- Meanwhile pick apart your rooster, discarding any bones, skin or nasty bits. Shred good meat into bite sized pieces and keep in a separate bowl.
- Add swiss chard and sea salt and boil for another 5 minutes or until all vegetables are soft but still maintain their structure (not overcooked).
- Add chicken, turn off heat, and serve.
Makes a large pot full–enough to serve at least 15