Monday, February 27, 2012

Dad's Chicken Vegetable Soup

I heard we could be getting ready for some more snow. Snow reminds of me cold and cold reminds me of soup and soup reminds me of my Dad. He loved to make homemade soup and it was always delicious! I have been working on some exact measurements for his chicken soup recipe; not sure they are perfect but they are close. Just keep tasting and you will end up with some great soup! Feel free to add, delete the stuff you don't like! I use either a Dutch oven or 7 quart pot when I make this, it freezes well. 
2 smoked ham hocks or smoked ham shanks
3 large chicken breasts with bone and skin on (flavor)
4 medium to large carrots, cut into bite size
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
2-3 medium potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1-2  cups green beans
4-5 garlic cloves
1-2 tsp basil (I don't have measurements for fresh herbs because I just grab some and chop - just keep tasting!)
1 T parsley
1 tsp thyme
coarse pepper (enough to coat medium - heavy over the top layer of the ingredients)
Kosher salt (same as pepper)

I place all of my ingredients in the pot in this order. After all ingredients are in, I add water enough to cover all the ingredients, this usually ends up to be halfway up the pot. Heat over medium heat until it boils then turn down and simmer. The longer you simmer, the better it is! You might have to add a little more water - I usually simmer mine for at least 2-3 hours. Don't panic if you get some strange looking "foamy stuff" from your chicken on the top - just skim it off and throw it away. Remove the ham hocks and chicken carefully and let them cool off on plate just long enough so you can peel the meat (and the skin) off and discard the bones. I don't use a knife, shredding with your fingers is SO much better! 
You can always add noodles if you want. I cook my noodles separate and ladle my soup over the top of them when I serve them. I just like the texture better.
After I add the chicken and ham back to the rest of the soup, I simmer for about another hour. Then finally you are ready to eat your soup! Homemade bread and soup makes me smile on a cold day!

Love and peace,
~ Simply Tammi

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