This time of the year, soup is an absolute must in each household. Kids and hubbies alike are more susceptible to catching a cold in this wintry weather. Runny noses and sore throats are pretty common in my family members. A warm cup of chicken broth is an absolute must when you are suffering from a cold because of its ant-inflammatory properties.
I won't go into the science behind the benefits of chicken broth (you can find those in this article here) but I will tell you that it has been proven to mitigate the effects of colds, flus, and upper respiratory infections and help lower blood pressure! Making chicken broth at home is inexpensive and healthier than its commercial counter products. The recipe for broth I'm sharing with you today is a Desi recipe passed down from my mom. Each whole spice added to the broth bring its own benefits and flavor to the mix. The longer the broth is boiled for, the more protein and collagen can be derived from the bones.
The problem is that picky eaters many times can't drink broth on its own (including S), so I use the broth as a base for other soups or savory dishes. I'm also sharing a recipe for chicken corn soup today which is a family fave. This recipe is so good it has had "better than restaurant chicken corn soup" reviews. Healthy and yummeh - now that is a combination of words that I rarely hear describing one food together but I would have to use them for this soup. Give it a try and you won't be disappointed.
A few notes on broth-
- Broth made from bony pieces, pieces with less meat and more bones such as necks, wings, and ribs, is very rich in collagen and minerals derived from said bones. Cooking this broth for 10 hours+ results in bone broth which is extremely healthy for the whole family.
- A good trick is to save these bony pieces whenever you are cooking a whole chicken and freeze them for when you need a small amount of broth. 6 cups of water would be good for this small amount (usually 5 bone pieces). If you buy whole chicken in a large quantity, you can also ask your butcher to bag all the bony pieces separately.
- Don't forget to read the side note on salt and turmeric in broth below.
makes 15 cups of broth (or more)
1 whole chicken cut into 16 pieces
2 small onions or 1 large, roughly chopped
2 green cardamom
7 black peppercorn
3 garlic cloves
1 knob of ginger
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 black cardamom (optional)
salt to taste (optional)*
1 tsp turmeric powder or 1 knob of whole turmeric (optional)**
15-20 cups of water (approx.)
Wash the chicken thoroughly. Add all the ingredients into a large pot and fill with water. For my 7 quart pot, that was roughly 18 cups of water. Let the broth come to a boil over high heat and remove the froth that forms on top. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and let it simmer away for 4-5 hours.
Remove the chicken pieces from the broth and set them aside to cool and shred. The shredded chicken can be frozen for future use or used immediately in our chicken corn soup. Sieve the broth through a fine sieve and discard everything except the liquid. Serve immediately as a healthy, immunity boosting soup or use as a base for another recipe. Since we are making such a large quantity, you can also let the broth cool and freeze for later use.
*I don't ever add salt to the broth because I like to season the final product and not the base. If I serve this to my family as a bone broth, I add salt to taste in each individual cup of soup. Salt in the broth may throw you off when cooking your final product.
**Turmeric in soup will color the broth yellow which isn't desirable for most recipes (for example, the yellow broth will turn rice cooked in it, yellow). It is an extremely healthy addition for soup but if you will be using the broth as a base for other recipes, I recommend you just add it to each individual cup of soup and not the original pot of broth.
Chicken Corn Soup
3 tbsp corn flour mixed with water to form a slurry
1 cup sweet white corn, frozen or fresh
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 onion, chopped fine
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp soy sauce
4-6 cups chicken broth (depending on what consistency you like)
soy sauce, sriracha hot sauce, thinly sliced green chillies soaked in vinegar, green onions for topping
Roughly grind half of the corn in a blender or food processor.
Melt butter in a small pot. Add onions and fry till translucent. Add chicken and stir fry for a few minutes more. Add broth and all the corn and bring to a simmer. Add the corn flour slurry and boil on medium heat for a few minutes until it is thick. Add more corn starch if you prefer a thicker consistency. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and soy sauce.
Slowly pour in the beaten egg while whisking the soup constantly with a fork. This will form thin, white ribbons of egg. Serve hot with your desired toppings. Enjoy!