This flu season has been a tough one. So, I thought it was high time to make some homemade Chicken Soup. Flo’s Chicken and Vegetable Soup has a few twists to it. The first one is okra. For all of you out there that are wrinkling up you nose right now at the thought of slimy okra, stick with me. First of all, you can buy frozen sliced okra and use as much or as little as you like. You just open up the package and pour some into the soup. No sliminess involved. Here is why you want to use okra in your soup, it will thicken it a bit and give it a sort of silky texture. The okra itself will literally melt in your mouth as you eat it.
The next twist is, radishes. Yup, radishes. In the soup you might mistake them for potatoes but I like to use them because they have almost zero calories and lack the starch that potatoes add. For that I like to use something with extra fiber like wild rice mix or barley.
If at all possible use homemade chicken broth. It’s full of healthy things like good probiotics, collagen and glucosamine. It’s not that hard to make and it freezes just fine. Here is how I make mine.
So, to get started, cut up your standard soup vegetables. Carrots, celery and onion. Dice up some garlic cloves as well. In a large stew pot or dutch oven, heat some oil until it’s shimmering. Add the onions to the pot with a bit of salt and cook them until they are translucent. Now add in the carrots, celery and garlic. Cook that all for maybe 5 minutes or so. This step of sautéing the vegetables first will give your soup a deeper flavor. Once the vegetables have softened a bit, add the broth. If you don’t have homemade, use store-bought broth or use water and add some Better than Bouillon. I also add herbs now. Parsley, thyme, basil, sage, rosemary and a bay leaf.
Bring everything to a simmer and let it cook for about 15 minutes. If you are using wild or brown rice, add it now as well. After this, turn up the heat a bit and add the okra, some frozen green beans, the radishes and any other vegetables you like. Cook everything another 15 minutes or so at a low simmer covered.
This soup freezes wonderfully and will keep in the fridge for several days. And yes, it is better the next day. Serve it with some nice crusty bread.
Flo's Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Comforting, healthy chicken soup packed with vegetables in a silky full-flavored broth.
- 2 cups carrots sliced
- 2 cups celery sliced
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- 6-8 cups chicken broth preferably homemade
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp parsley dried
- 1 tsp basil dried
- 1 tsp thyme dried
- 1 tsp sage dried
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup brown or wild rice blend
- 1 cup frozen sliced okra
- 1 cup frozen or fresh green beans
- 6-8 radishes sliced
- 1 tbsp Better than Bouillon optional to deepen the flavor of the broth
Heat a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add oil and once it starts to shimmer, add the onions and a bit of salt.
Cook the onions until they are translucent, stirring occasionally.
Add the carrots, celery and garlic. Cook until the vegetables have started to soften. About 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the herbs, rice and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook covered for about 15 minutes.
Turn up the heat a bit and add the okra, green beans and radishes. Bring the mixture back up to a simmer. Cover, and turn the heat down a bit. Simmer for another 15 to 25 minutes until the rice is done.
Cook until the rice is done. Serve hot.