The key to a good chicken soup is the low and slow cooking process. This draws all the nutrients out of the chicken bones which provide a whole host of health benefits particularly relating to a healthy gut and strong immune system. This is how you do it....
1 whole chicken, approx. 1.5 kilos, preferably organic
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
15 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar(this helps draw the nutrients out of the bones)
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a stock pot and add the onion, thyme and oregano cook for a few minutes until the the onion starts to brown
Whilst thats cooking, prepare the chicken by removing most of the skin from the breast and thighs. Just use your hands to pull it off and discard. You can skip this step but it reduces the fat content.
Add cold water to the stock pot, to bring the temperature down first and then add the chicken along with the apple cider vinegar. There water level should just cover the chicken so add more if you need to.
Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to a light simmer and cook covered for 2+ hours. The longer you cook it the better the flavour and health benefits however 2 hours is still sufficient. For the last 30 minutes, cook uncovered so the flavour intensifies.
Using tongs and a big spoon, transfer the chicken out of the pot and onto a plate. The chicken will fall off the bone so make sure you get all the bones out of the soup. Now you are left with a beautiful chicken broth. Making this in large batches and freezing it is an easy way to make express chicken and veggie soups.
Add the diced carrot and celery and cook uncovered for 20 minutes or until the carrot is soft.
Whilst the veggies cook, pull apart the chicken from the bones then add it back to the broth. There is likely to be more chicken than you need so use it for salads during the week.
All the fat will settle to the top, so use a spoon to scoop it out and discard. This is easier the next day once the soup is chilled and the fat has set.