It's that time of year when the flu is getting people down. Few things are as soothing and comforting as a bowl of homemade chicken soup. With garlic, ginger, lemon, and kale, this Healing Paleo Chicken Soup recipe can help fight off the sniffles any day! And it’s so tasty, kids gobble it up and ask for more! Your whole family will love it as an easy meal even when you’re not sick.
This homemade Paleo chicken soup recipe is gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free and with an amazing combination of spices and vegetables, it’s a wonderful way to get nutrients into your family’s diet. It’s fairly quick and easy too; you can have dinner ready within an hour (less if your chicken is already cooked)! Make Chicken Soup in larger batches and freeze them in mason jars. So when family or friends need a little help you can just reach into your freezer and deliver a healing soothing meal of Chicken Soup.
This easy chicken soup is packed with nutrients and healing herbs that can help prevent and reduce the duration of cold and flu symptoms.
Serves: 8-10 servings
2-3 lb chicken (I prefer chicken with bones because of the healing nutrients. *See note below)
4 cups organic chicken broth
6 cups water
1 cup onion, chopped
2 T fresh ginger, grated
2 T apple cider vinegar
3-4 cups carrots, chopped
2-3 cups celery, chopped
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
one head of cauliflower
1 tsp ground turmeric
1-2 T lemon zest
½ Tbsp basil
½ Tbsp parsley
2 cups chopped kale
1 cup chopped spinach
1.5 tsp sea salt, more or less to taste
¼ tsp black pepper, more or less to taste
Fill a large pot with water. Add the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until fully cooked through. Remove the chicken and set aside.
While the chicken is cooking, you can cut up the vegetables.
Add the broth and 6 cups of the strained water the chicken was cooked into a large stock pot. Add the onions, ginger, carrots, celery, garlic, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes.
While the broth and vegetables are cooking, cut up the cauliflower and pulse several times in a food processor until it resembles grains of rice. If you don't have a food processor, you can just cut it up into small pieces.
Shred the chicken and add the chicken and diced cauliflower to the pot, along with the remaining ingredients: lemon zest, basil, parsley, kale, spinach, sea salt, and pepper.
Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
*bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline. The collagen in bone broth heals your gut lining and reduces intestinal inflammation.
Simple Tips for Freezing in Glass
1. Cool Your Broth
Cool your broth before ladling into the jars, then completely cool the jars of broth in the fridge before freezing.
This does two things:
It won’t shock the jars when you fill them with broth (that means giving them such a huge temperature change that the glass shatters), and
You won’t burn yourself by ladling hot broth into jars and spilling on yourself. Not that such a thing could ever happen in my kitchen.
2. Fill With Less Broth Than You Think
This is a really easy mistake to make and was my biggest mistake in the past.
I used to leave 1-2 inches of headspace in the jars when filling them up with broth, thinking that there was plenty of room for it to expand while freezing. But most of them would still break and crack. I was stumped. Turns out that it isn’t the top of the jar you need to be mindful of when filling your jars. It’s the shoulders. Anytime you freeze in a glass jar that has shoulders, you have to make sure that the broth stays below the shoulders while it freezes and expands. That means that the broth should be 2-3 inches below the shoulders before you stick it in the freezer.
3. Use Wide Mouth Mason Jars
Instead of using regular jars and worrying about the shoulders, you can use wide mouth mason jars.
Bonus tip: many brands of organic or natural peanut butter are sold in wide mouth glass jars, which are perfect for freezing smaller amounts of broth! These wide mouth jars really are the best for freezing broth. Since they lack the shoulders that most jars have, the jar isn’t put under pressure when the broth freezes and expands. I don’t have many of these, but I do reach for them first when I go to freeze broth.
4. Cap Loosely
When jars are tightly capped before freezing, they tend to break more often. If you just loosely place the lids on until the broth is totally frozen, the jars hold up better. Once the broth is frozen, you can tighten the lids if you remember. It’s not a big deal if you forget, though.
5. Leave Space Between Jars in the Freezer
Jars that are touching when placed in the freezer seem to break more readily, as well. This problem has another simple solution:just leave a little space between the jars when placing in the freezer.