A deliciously fresh and creamy chicken soup seasoned with fresh herbs of sage, thyme and rosemary. This is my 7 year old grandsons all-time favourite soup.
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Heat a large soup pot on medium heat. Add the coconut oil, leek, swede, carrots, celery and garlic. Stir while cooking for 4 – 5 minutes.
Add the chicken broth and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
Add the chicken, herbs, salt, pepper and coconut cream. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add extra broth if you prefer a thinner soup.
Serve in large bowls as a main meal soup.
Coconut oil is one of the most nutritious fats to cook and bake with. Use organic extra-virgin coconut oil which is unrefined and unbleached from non GMO coconuts. Coconut oil has a high smoking point and it is slow to oxidize due to its high saturated fat content, thus, resistant to going rancid. Some studies suggest coconut oil helps with digestion, including irritable bowel, tummy bugs, candida and parasites due to this oil containing short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a healthy form of saturated fat.
Leek is a vegetable that belongs to the onion and garlic family. The edible part of the leek is the white base called the stem or stalk, the leaf sheath needs to be removed before eating. Leeks have a sweet, mild onion flavour and are commonly used in stock and soups. Leeks contain many flavonoid anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins that have proven health benefits.
The vegetable swede is also know as rutabaga in North America. Swede is a root vegetable that is a similar shape to a turnip but larger, it's flavour is sweeter than a turnip and cream in colour, with some purple on top. The leaves can be eaten as a leaf vegetable. Swede is an excellent substitute for white potato, it can be roasted, baked, boiled, mashed, sauteed and delicious added to soups and stews. Swede can also be thinly julienned or grated uncooked and added to salads or coleslaw. It's a winter vegetable and stores well. Swede is high in vitamin C and provides antioxidants and immune support, helping protect the cells from free radical damage and assists in the thyroid hormone thyroxine. Swedes are rich in beta carotene and also an excellent source of iron, potassium and manganese, a good source of fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
This crunchy orange root vegetable is rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. They are good for the eyes and improve night vision. You get vitamin A and a host of other powerful health benefits from carrots, including cancer prevention, helps prevent infections and heart disease, protects teeth and gums and promotes healthier skin.
Both celery stalks and leaves can be used, whole stalks are eaten raw in salads or cooked to give flavour in stews and soups. Raw stalks with the leaves are excellent in your morning smoothie and give you a good dose of vitamin K, B and A, folate, riboflavin and more, plus celery contains several minerals.
Garlic is a close relative to the onion and has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In most of my recipes I use minced garlic as I find it distributes better throughout the dish. When in a hurry I use organic minced garlic which I purchase in glass jars and store in the fridge. When garlic powder is needed for a particular recipe, I use 'Simply Organic' brand. Why is garlic so good for us? It is an immune booster, antibiotic, good for the heart, cancer fighter and it's also knew as a weight loss aid (appetite suppressant).
Making homemade chicken broth is a great way to heal Leaky Gut and excellent to drink when unwell. Traditionally broth was made just from bones and simmered for hours to remove the gelatin, marrow and goodness from them. These days vegetables are also added to give extra flavour. By using a slow cooker, making your own broth/stock is so easy. As soon as a roast chicken is eaten, all the bones go into the freezer ready for the next batch of broth. If purchasing store-bought stocks, read the labels as many companies have changed the name of MSG to yeast extract. Organic or free-range brands are available. My Chicken broth recipe is on page 295 of The JOYful Table cookbook. Freeze ice block trays filled with chicken broth for when a small amount is required for a recipe. You can also use an organic concentrated bone broth paste or dehydrated chicken bone broth powder and add them to filtered water.
Choose grass fed, free-range chicken and organic if available. Chicken is a meat that gets injected with hormones to plumb it up, shop carefully. A good source of protein.
Sage is native to the Mediterranean area. The herb is a member of the mint family and has many healing properties. Use sage leaves to season fish, meat, salads and soups. Sage is a good source of vitamin A, calcium, iron and potassium. Sage has been used to treat a wide range of conditions like cold, sore throat, fever respiratory problems, sinusitis, skin problems, menstrual disorders, digestive ailments and memory loss.
Thyme is a perennial herb in the mint family of plants. Thyme has very small leaves that can vary in colour from deep to paler green shades. There are more that 350 known thyme species, common thyme is most popular for cooking but is also used for medicinal purposes. Use fresh or dried leaves to flavour casseroles, soups, stews and sauteed or mashed vegetables. To remove fresh thyme leaves easily, run your fingers down the stem in the opposite direction.
The herb rosemary is a woody perennial herb with evergreen, needle-like leaves and has a strong fragrance. Rosemary is often cooked with lamb or in Italian dishes and is added to stews, soups and broth to give extra flavour, also the oil is extracted and used for many purposes including body creams and shampoos. Rosemary leaves are used fresh or dried.
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
White pepper is cultivated from the ripe fruit seeds of a tropical vine. Black pepper is the cooked and dried unripe fruit of the vine. White pepper is a little milder in flavour and I use it when I prefer not to have black speckles in my dish, like a white sauce.
I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. When purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.