I had a stewing chicken in the freezer, so when I started coming down with a cold, I just KNEW I had to make some chicken soup.
I like to use older, stewing chickens for soup as they have so much more flavour. They need long, slow cooking as they tend to be tough, and that makes them perfect for soup.
Because I used the whole chicken (mine came with both feet and head attached) in the slow cooker, it has the same nutritional punch as bone broth. First of all I made a rich broth using the whole chicken, and I removed the breasts once they were cooked and continued cooking the carcass for several hours.
When I was ready to make the soup, I then strained the broth, and added fresh veggies to it along with the reserved chicken breast meat. And finally, I made some dumplings that I cooked in the broth.
This recipe is gluten/grain free and paleo, but to make it strict AIP you would have to leave out the dumplings as they contain both nuts and eggs. It would be just as good without them though.
The eggs and nuts in the dumplings make this an AIP stage 2 reintroduction. When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.
Chicken Soup with Dumplings
For the chicken broth
- 1 large stewing chicken (mine came complete with the head and feet attached)
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 cloves of garlic
- sea salt
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
For the chicken soup
- Broth that was made earlier
- Reserved breast meat – shredded
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 onion – peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots – peeled and chopped
- 2 parsnips – peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks of celery – chopped
- ½ small rutabaga – peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley – chopped
- sea salt to taste
For the dumplings (omit the dumplings if strict AIP)
- ½ cup of tapioca flour
- 1½ cups of almond flour
- 4 eggs
- ¼ tsp sea salt
The first thing I did was to make the broth. Because my chicken had it’s feet and head intact, I cut off both feet, and the head and neck and put them in the slow cooker. Next I added the chicken, and all the other broth ingredients. There is no need to peel the veggies if they are organic, as they are just there to provide flavour. I would peel non-organic veggies however. I cut all the veggies up into rough chunks and put them in with the bayleaves, garlic, thyme and a sprinkling of salt. I also added some apple cider vinegar to extract as many minerals as possible from the bones.
I covered the chicken with cold water, turned the slow cooker to low and left it for 3 hours.
By this time, the chicken breasts were cooked, so I removed the chicken from the pot, sliced of the breasts and returned the rest of the carcass to the pot to make a rich flavourful broth. I put the breast meat in the refrigerator.
I left the carcass cooking for another 6 hours, by which time I was ready to make my soup.
The first thing I did was to strain my broth. I discarded all the veggies, but kept the bones to make a second batch of broth by adding more ACV and fresh veggies.
To make the soup, I melted the coconut oil in a large soup pot and added the onion, carrot, parsnip, celery and rutabaga. I sauteed the vegetables over a medium heat for around 10 minutes until they were starting to soften and brown slightly.
I then added the strained broth, the reserved chicken breast meat and the parsley. I tasted the broth and added some salt and pepper.
I let this simmer for around 20 minutes until the veggies were nearly cooked.
While it was simmering I made the dumplings.
Omit the dumplings if strict AIP!
I mixed the almond flour, tapioca flour and salt together in a bowl. Then I stirred in enough beaten egg to give a firm dough.
I let this sit in the fridge until the soup was ready.
Then I rolled the dough into small balls about the size of a walnut. I like my dumplings small.
The dumplings were added to the soup pot, I put on a lid and let them cook in the simmering soup for another 15 minutes.
Then I served it all in a big bowl.