If you’re anything like me when you’re sick, you probably crave your Mama or Grandmama’s homemade soup! Unfortunately for me, my Mama lives in another state, so any homemade soup offering This Girl comfort has to come out of my own kitchen! No problem, I came up with some simple tips to help me whip up a batch of delicious homemade soup, even when I’m the one who’s sick!
The following makes a large pot of soup (compliments of This Girl):
- Veggies such as broccoli stalks, celery tips and ends, asparagus ends, onion quarters, carrots, peppers, etc….
- 2-3 large garlic cloves
- Herbs, such as rosemary, parsley, chives, etc
- Chicken, a few boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- Olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- 1 and 1/2 cups dry whole wheat orzo
- Grated parmesan cheese
I can’t remember where I picked this tip up, but awhile ago I started saving the ends of veggies that I would otherwise have thrown out. For example, broccoli stalks, celery tips, asparagus ends, etc. When I trim these types of veggies for other recipes, I store the ends in the freezer until I have enough veggies saved to make broth. You can also freeze veggies for this use that you haven’t had a chance to cook and might be turning bad quickly. You’ll need enough veggies to fill your crockpot.
On the day you’re ready to make the broth, add the frozen veggies to a large crockpot and cover completely with water. Add a few cloves of peeled garlic and whatever herbs you have on hand or like – such as rosemary, parsley, basil, chives, etc. Turn the crockpot on low before you leave for work and the broth will cook itself while you’re gone.
When you come home from work, cube up some chicken breasts (at least 3 large breasts), toss with some olive oil and seasonings – use whatever you have like Italian seasoning or at least salt and pepper. Saute in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the chicken pieces start to brown.
Meanwhile, use a spider (or small strainer) to scoop out the veggies from the crockpot. At this point you have homemade veggie stock! Discard everything but the onions. Chop the onions up and put them back in the broth. Chop up a few fresh large carrots and celery stalks and add those to the broth as well. When the chicken is slightly browned, remove the pieces from the skillet and add to the broth in the crockpot. Season with salt, stir and cover, continuing to cook on low for another hour or so.
While the soup finishes cooking, cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain the orzo, add a scoop of it to a large bowl and then top with soup. Serve soup with cheese.