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Chicken Vegetable Soup

1 stewing chicken, about 4 to 5 pounds
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
8 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 quarts water
1/2 pound sliced carrots
3 ribs celery, sliced
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup uncooked rice or 1 to 2 cups fine uncooked noodles

Cut chicken into pieces; place in a large covered kettle with the 2 ribs chopped celery, the 2 chopped carrots, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, peppercorns, bay leaf, and 2 quarts water. Cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours, until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and strain the broth, discarding vegetables. When chicken is easy to handle, remove from bones and chop into smaller pieces. Refrigerate chicken until ready to use.

Meanwhile, add sliced carrots, sliced celery, and potatoes to the broth; cook for about 15 minutes, until tender. Add peas and noodles; continue to cook for about 15 minutes longer, until noodles are tender. Add about half of the chicken, reserving the other half for another use, such as chicken salad, for sandwiches, or other recipe.

Makes 8 Servings