Chicken Soup for the (Gluten Free) Soul

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's a cold rainy day. The fog makes the green of the grass look so vivid. Somehow I managed to contract a mild cold. I haven't gotten sick all season, so I was overdue for one. The sky is gray, and the dampness seems to chill to the bone. I crave chicken soup. There are some chicken drumsticks in the freezer, and I realize I have all of the ingredients.


The desire to have homemade soup overpowers any lingering feelings of fatigue induced by the cold. So I make the soup.


This is an easy recipe for chicken soup which I learned to make from my mom. In this recipe I used rice instead of noodles. I didn't want to be weighed down by noodles, I also don't like the way noodles tend to exponentially expand in size with time in the soup. The rice does not take away the wholesomeness and the healing (even if imaginary) qualities of the soup, which has the added benefit of being gluten-free.


Gluten Free Chicken Soup
(Serves 6)

You will need:
Small whole chicken, or about 2 lb chicken legs (bone in)
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 cup uncooked white rice
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 small yellow onion or bulb onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf and/or a dash of dried herbs (e.g. oregano, chives, etc)
Salt, pepper to taste
2 tbsp fresh dill and parsley, chopped

Place chicken in a stockpot, fill with water so that the chicken is fully covered and bring to a boil. When the water boils, turn off the heat and pour off the water, rinsing the chicken (pouring off the initial "stock" helps reduce fat content). Refill the pot again 2/3 full with fresh water and on medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the rice, stirring with a wooden spoon. When the water starts to simmer again add celery, carrots, parsnip and onion. Wait for the soup to simmer again, then add bay leaf and herbs and season with salt and pepper. Let the soup cook, covered, for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all of the vegetables are soft. Taste the soup and re-season if needed. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with dill and parsley. Serve and enjoy.


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