When the new year rolls around. I am ready to eat a little cleaner. The holidays are inevitably debaucherous and while I love it and fully partake, this year I felt more than ever the need to start the year off a little lighter. I cut out wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine and alcohol, you might ask what else is there? I asked myself that too but after ten days at this I am pleasantly surprised that I don't feel deprived at all, well, almost at all! I will admit to missing cheese. Pecorino is my Kryptonite.
I was recently asked to develop some recipes for Toast, one of my favorite UK companies for their blog Toast Travels. I decided to go with a warming chicken soup. I make bone broths and stocks on a regular basis and always have, maybe it came out of a moderately Hippy upbringing along with growing up in a New England waste not want not family or perhaps it's my Southern Italian Grandmother, who like the New Englander's, carried that same credo. At any rate, no chicken carcass goes unused in this house ever! What I love most about soups and broths is that they are so damn easy and adaptable. They are most forgiving as you can add a little more of this and a little less of that and put your own twist on it. Soup is magic, and I have been playing at making soup since I first heard the folk tale Stone Soup, as a child . When you give a kid a pot and a wooden spoon to play with they generally tell you they are making soup. They do so with big sweeping gestures of the wooden spoon turning 'round in the pot andthey do so as they collect everything but the kitchen sink and throw it all into their make believe soup. As adults, we do the the same. Soup is a food we more often than not associate with comfort and childhood and home and a little bit of magic.
This one is a twist on a classic chicken soup,with copious hits of ginger, sumac, winter citrus, spruce, turmeric and chili. It is a powerful soup and will warm you to you bones.
In our house we drink this morning noon and night from December to April and often fill thermos to bring to work.
Chicken Soup with Citrus SpruceTurmeric and Ginger
This soup is a spicy bright healing broth with notes of citrus, ginger, turmeric and chilies. This is slow cooked and should be started in the morning.
We make this every time we roast a chicken. We never let the carcass go to waste. We often have left over meat from the roast chicken, so we deserve that to add to the finished broth.
Clean a roasted chicken carcass, reserving any bits of meat.
In 7 quart pot, place all the following ingredients:
1 carcass of a large roasting chicken along with any skin or scrapings from the roasting pan.
2 whole heads of garlic skin on cut in half
1 large yellow onion cut in half
2 cups coarsely chopped ginger
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
5 cups chopped celery (leaves and stems)
3 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh turmeric
2 fresh halved lemons or 2 whole preserved lemons
1 satsuma orange halved
2 bunches parsley
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 dried chiles de árbol chilies
1 teaspoon dried sumac
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
A dash of olive oil
1 cup loosely packed spruce or pine (optional) spruce and pine is high in vitamin c
20 cups filtered water
Set to simmer on medium heat. When the stock comes to a boil, lower the heat and leave on a bare simmer for 7 hours.
Add more water if need be.
Occasionally stir the pot, and hour or so before straining I give it a good mashing with the side of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to break up all the ingredients.
Discard the debris and strain through a fine mesh strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth.
Salt to taste.
Add pieces of roasted chicken, shaved celery. Add grated pecorino if you wish.
Makes 10 cups broth.
images ©Andrea Gentl/Gentl and Hyers 2015
recipes ©Hungry Ghostl 2015