The January doldrums are upon us: wickedly cold weather, gray skies, and everyone seems to be sick. It makes me want to just curl up under a blanket and eat and drink all the warm things.
One of the warm things that sustained me through the last week was chicken zoodle soup. This easy twist on a simple classic is gluten-free, and my version is also uses low FODMAP veggies.
Making the Stock
I love to make my chicken stock from scratch. Although it is a bit of a time investment, it’s super tasty and allows you to control the ingredients. I like to make a huge pot and freeze half of the stock for another week. Using a whole chicken, with all the light and dark meats and lots of bone is a great way to create a flavorful stock, but sometimes I find it easier to and less expensive (check the sales) to just pick up packages of chicken drumsticks or thighs. It’s easier to separate all the meat from the bones, and what can I say. . . I like meal prep to be as quick as possible.
Tip: Use a stock pot with a colander insert. This makes it so easy to separate the meat and veggies from the stock when they are done cooking.
Here’s how I make the stock:
- Add about 18 cups of water to a large stock pot with a colander insert. You will likely need to adjust the water based on how large your pot is. Fill it about 3/4 full.
- Add eight chicken drumsticks to the water. You can use any chicken parts just as long as there is bone (don’t use boneless cuts). Dark meats have more flavor.
- Add some veggies and spices: I used 4 carrots, 3 bay leaves, and 1 tsp of thyme
- Simmer for one hour.
- Remove the chicken. I just take out the colander and set it in a small roasting pan to drain.
- Let the chicken cool for about 10 minutes. When it’s cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones. Discard any skin. Shred the chicken and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the soup
- Put the bones and veggies (in the colander) back in the pot to simmer for at least another hour. Continuing to cook the bones will give the broth more flavor.
- After an hour or more, remove the colander, discard the bones and veggies, and you are left with a large pot of broth to use immediately or freeze for later.
Chicken Zoodle Soup
Once my broth is made, I use about seven cups of it to make soup. The great thing about making the broth in large batches is that I can freeze half of it and not have to make more broth every week. Yes, I’m eating a lot of soup this winter.
I used a variety of low FODMAP veggies in this soup: carrots, parsnips, turnips, and zucchini noodles. Add whatever veggies you like! A soup like this is versatile.
I know veggie noodles are all the rage, but I have not yet purchased a spiralizer. I’ve been trying to de-clutter the kitchen and I just hate the idea of one more thing taking up space. Chopped zucchini would be just as tasty in this recipe, but I thought it would be fun to add zucchini noodles (zoodles) this time for a twist on classic chicken noodle soup. Many grocery stores now carry them now, and I picked up a package at Trader Joes in the frozen section.
- 7 cups chicken stock
- Shredded chicken (I used the meat from 8 drumsticks)
- 6 carrots, sliced
- 2 parsnips, sliced
- 2 turnips (chopped into pieces about the same size as the carrots and parsnips)
- zucchini noodles
- 1 tsp thyme
- Slice the carrots, parsnips, and turnips. Try to make them about the same size so they will cook evenly. Cut in half or quarters as needed.
- In a large pot, add the chicken stock, chicken, and veggies and bring to a simmer. Add the spices and salt and pepper to taste.
- After about 20 minutes, add the zucchini noodles. If frozen, increase the heat and cook for about 7 minutes. Check veggies for tenderness. When all the veggies are tender, eat and enjoy!
Bring it on winter, I’m ready!