Fresh Vegetables and Chicken Clean Soup.
Each week in the winter, and oftentimes throughout the year, I prepare a version of this for the evening meal. It contains no salt, no pepper, in fact, no seasonings of any kind. A simple flavor of pure homemade chicken broth combined with a broad selection of colorful vegetables. It even tastes pure and fresh. Fundamentally, one of the things I really love about this recipe, is that it offers a sort of little nudge of embrace in good eating, that is among those foods nourishing to us. You can even eat as much as you want. Few waistlines would be adversely affected by even stuffing one’s face with carrots, onions, celery, broccoli, kale, and peas sprinkled with some chopped scallions.
As I look at the bounty of fresh vegetables for this Post today it also gives me cause to ponder some thoughts, one, that a broad variety of vegetables with small amounts of meat were not the trend in the days of even our grandparents or great grandparents, they were the norm. Somehow things just got wildly off track. The varied vegetable selection also gives me thought on the lack of access, even in this day and age, in many, mainly urban areas of our country, food deserts, as they are often referred. Neighborhoods lacking simple access and ease of availability to obtain basic, fresh, healthy foods as part of their common routine. Here too, somehow things really got wildly off track.
One thing I’ve always had great faith in is that sometimes those issues important to individuals, communities, and to our nation as a whole, require some radical thought in order to sway a common sustaining equilibrium. If you think about it, although it would take more than a thesis to track the changing food scene in our country even over the past twenty-five years, some food issues may seem to present in the extreme initially, but then eventually they edge to the mainstream, a norm, they take on a more common ground. Issues such as humane treatment, respect for those living animals that we consume as part of our diet, how about more “organic,” I can remember a time this was viewed a streamlined ‘hippie’ interest. How about colorings, chemicals, hormones in our foods. I can remember a vehement response that these additives were proven to harm us in no way, again, a shifting of the equilibrium, formerly alternative points of view were practically deemed, “kooky.”
And then, as ‘organic’ moved the equilibrium more to the center, others shouted, ‘organic’, yes, great, but many people cannot afford to feed their families all ‘organic’ food, we need to first encourage and educate people to just plain eat healthy foods, this too infers accessibility to all. Perhaps while preparing and enjoying your Chicken and Fresh Vegetables Clean Soup, you too might ponder the nudge of embrace in good eating, its similarities to the norms of eating by your ancestors, and those others who have little access to obtaining what is fresh and healthy in the basic routine. What are your thoughts in renewing many similar foods and eating habits of your ancestors, though perhaps more creatively? Or, those about the emergence and evolution of today’s food issues, including the challenges of food deserts, and enabling easier access and availability of healthy fresh foods as a benefit to individuals, communities, or to our nation as a whole?
- 4-5 pound small roasting chicken (sometimes called fryer chickens)
- 4 quarts cold water
- 4 carrots, peeled, pieces sliced on angle
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 onion, cut in half, sliced very, very thinly
- 3 cups broccoli, more or less, cut into florets
- 3-4 cups kale, thick center stems removed, chopped finely
- 2 cups frozen green peas
- 3 scallions, chopped finely
- Assemble items for chicken prep; a boning knife, large plate for lying chicken breasts, tenderloins, clean cutting board.
- Set whole little roasting chicken onto the cutting board breast side up. Remove any packaging inside chicken, place the neck into the stock pot. Completely lift back the skin exposing the breast. Slice first breast off closely to the center bone, remove breast, pull off the attached tenderloin and place both pieces onto the plate. Repeat the same process with the other breast.
- Place the whole remaining carcass into the stock pot then fill the stock pot with cold water, around 4- 4 1/2 quarts. Turn burner onto high heat, bring stock to a boil then reduce temperature to the lowest heat and let simmer for around an hour and fifteen minutes or a bit longer, chicken should be completely cooked and tender. Meanwhile, cut chicken breasts and tenderloins into bite size pieces, cover with plastic, refrigerate. When stock is done,turn off heat, remove carcass to a large bowl, (cooked chicken meat may be used for chicken salad or another use) strain chicken stock into a clean soup pot.
- To the hot chicken stock add in the carrots, celery, and onions and cook on very low temperature for fifteen minutes, scrape in the chicken cubes, cook three minutes, tumble in the broccoli florets and cook another fifteen minutes, sprinkle in chopped kale, stir, continue simmering ten minutes, tumble in green peas, sprinkle with scallions, stir, simmer another ten minutes or so and clean soup is ready for serving anytime.