Chicken soup is one of those things that I can't make without thinking of certain people:
Mom: She taught me how to make chicken/turkey soup from a carcass after a roast chicken/turkey meal. It's not really a recipe thing, more of a technique and learning the taste/feel of the process.
Magda: It was at a dinner at her house, during my last year of high school in Nova Scotia, that I had dill as an herb in soup for the first time. I was entranced. From that point in time, Mom said I was overdoing the whole dill thing. I can't help it. I like dill. My permanent thanks to Magda for the dinner invite and the many soups-with-dill that ensued.
June: This was the first dish that I made to impress Rob's mother, at our first Christmas together at his folks then-place in Ohio. It worked.
Kim: We had grand alternative health adventures together when Rob went through vernacular media training at JAARS in North Carolina. Sharing prayer, recipes, herb tips, laughter and soup… good times. It was with Kim that I first began playing with lemons in the soup, as the mineral-releasing agent with the bones instead of vinegar. Rob hates even the smell of vinegar; it takes away his appetite.
Amy: At LTSS in South Carolina, I made The Soup, health-restoring properties now finely tuned, for my friend Amy. She liked it, felt better, praised it highly. I also think of Amy when I make the soup. It's not that she modified it; she just appreciated it really well, in that highly encouraging manner that she has.
So, is there a recipe? Not really. There are only current permutations, depending on how I'm eating these days. Here is the current permutation, as I am cooking it today:
Eshinee's Current (not Currant) Chicken Soup
4 batches of leftover chicken bones-and-bits from 4 quarter-chicken meals at Nando's
water to fully cover in crockpot
6 teaspoons of sea salt crystals
1/4 cup lime juice
2 bay leaves (sent by Barbara for ant-repellent purposes)
1 Tbsp dill
1 Tbsp garlic
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, sliced
2 potatoes, cubed
I put the chicken leftovers in a crockpot, covered with water and added 4 tsp of salt plus the lime juice, last night around 9PM. I turned it on high and forgot that I had done so. I woke up at 4AM, remembered that the soup was still on high, went out and turned it down to low. At 10AM, I took out all the bones and chicken bits, put them in an old ice cream container to cool down enough to pick the meat off by hand; I'll probably get to that in an hour or so. I'll then return the meat to the pot. I added 2 more tsp of sea salt, picked out the bay leaf, put in the herbs and veggies. I turned it on auto-shift, which is sort of like a high setting that keep it hotter than low but adjusting so that it doesn't overheat. If I check later this afternoon and the veggies are full cooked, I'll probably turn it down to low. We plan to eat at 6PM, roughly. I may get all crazy and add dumplings, if I can find a good crockpot dumpling recipe online.
I'm not kidding about the amount of sea salt, folks. Salt to taste later but do add it with the bones as well, to help leach out the minerals. That's what this soup is all about, getting the most nutrients out of that chicken.
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