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Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've been making a chicken soup that needs punching up (recipe follows.)
I got it from my mother, and it's pretty good for a start, but needs
some umph, some bam, an element of "ummm thats good".

What are some herbs or spices that I can add to liven it up?
What would you add if this were yours?

Here's the recipe (my version in parens):

Fill stock pot about half way or a little more with water (I'm guessing
1 to 1.5 gallons but haven't measured the pot.)
1.5-2 pounds chicken (breasts usually, whole in the pot until cooked
then chopped and returned)
2-4 stalks of celery (bias cut)
2-4 carrots (bias cut)
2-4 med potatoes (I used about 5 med-small of some waxy variety)
4-6 cups chicken broth (low-sodium and/or homemade)

Bring to boil, reduce & simmer for about 3 hrs.
Notice there's no salt. I'm making an effort to control my sodium
intake. Not on doctor's orders, but I want to avoid my doctor having to
tell me. I add a pinch or so to each serving before eating. Along with
several dashes of tobasco.
post #2 of 19

Re: Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

I vote for lemon juice and cilantro. I further suggest that dark meat
chicken has more flavor than the white so I'd switch some of the chicken
breasts to thighs. For some reason the only starch I use in chicken
soup is pasta as in chicken-noodle so I'd leave out the potatoes, and I
don't see anything from the onion family such as onions, leeks or
garlic. Onion family packs a lot of flavor.
--Lia


LM wrote:
> I've been making a chicken soup that needs punching up (recipe follows.)
> I got it from my mother, and it's pretty good for a start, but needs
> some umph, some bam, an element of "ummm thats good".
>
> What are some herbs or spices that I can add to liven it up?
> What would you add if this were yours?
>
> Here's the recipe (my version in parens):
>
> Fill stock pot about half way or a little more with water (I'm guessing
> 1 to 1.5 gallons but haven't measured the pot.)
> 1.5-2 pounds chicken (breasts usually, whole in the pot until cooked
> then chopped and returned)
> 2-4 stalks of celery (bias cut)
> 2-4 carrots (bias cut)
> 2-4 med potatoes (I used about 5 med-small of some waxy variety)
> 4-6 cups chicken broth (low-sodium and/or homemade)
>
> Bring to boil, reduce & simmer for about 3 hrs.
> Notice there's no salt. I'm making an effort to control my sodium
> intake. Not on doctor's orders, but I want to avoid my doctor having to
> tell me. I add a pinch or so to each serving before eating. Along with
> several dashes of tobasco.
>
post #3 of 19

Re: Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

"LM" <monarch@airmail.net> wrote in message
news:fgkgd1t9p21a6j7378teoaf891b7j2923i@4ax.com...
> I've been making a chicken soup that needs punching up (recipe follows.)
> I got it from my mother, and it's pretty good for a start, but needs
> some umph, some bam, an element of "ummm thats good".
>
> What are some herbs or spices that I can add to liven it up?
> What would you add if this were yours?
>
> Here's the recipe (my version in parens):
>
> Fill stock pot about half way or a little more with water (I'm guessing
> 1 to 1.5 gallons but haven't measured the pot.)
> 1.5-2 pounds chicken (breasts usually, whole in the pot until cooked
> then chopped and returned)
> 2-4 stalks of celery (bias cut)
> 2-4 carrots (bias cut)
> 2-4 med potatoes (I used about 5 med-small of some waxy variety)
> 4-6 cups chicken broth (low-sodium and/or homemade)
>
> Bring to boil, reduce & simmer for about 3 hrs.
> Notice there's no salt. I'm making an effort to control my sodium
> intake. Not on doctor's orders, but I want to avoid my doctor having to
> tell me. I add a pinch or so to each serving before eating. Along with
> several dashes of tobasco.
>


Here's how I would change things.

1) Use thighs - the meat is more flavorful.
2) Whatever part you use, cook it in the stock, not water. Remove when
cooked (30 min or so), take the meat off the bones and reserve.
3) Return the bones to the soup for more flavor along with a quartered onion
and a couple of garlic cloves, maybe a bay leaf or 2 and a few whole
peppercorns. Simmer for another hour then strain and discard solids. Skim
off fat if desired.
4) Add carrots and celery and simmer until done.
5) Add cubed meat and heat thru.


--
Peter Aitken
post #4 of 19

Re: Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

In article <fgkgd1t9p21a6j7378teoaf891b7j2923i@4ax.com>,
LM <monarch@airmail.net> wrote:

> I've been making a chicken soup that needs punching up (recipe follows.)
> I got it from my mother, and it's pretty good for a start, but needs
> some umph, some bam, an element of "ummm thats good".
>
> What are some herbs or spices that I can add to liven it up?
> What would you add if this were yours?
>
> Here's the recipe (my version in parens):
>
> Fill stock pot about half way or a little more with water (I'm guessing
> 1 to 1.5 gallons but haven't measured the pot.)
> 1.5-2 pounds chicken (breasts usually, whole in the pot until cooked
> then chopped and returned)
> 2-4 stalks of celery (bias cut)
> 2-4 carrots (bias cut)
> 2-4 med potatoes (I used about 5 med-small of some waxy variety)
> 4-6 cups chicken broth (low-sodium and/or homemade)
>
> Bring to boil, reduce & simmer for about 3 hrs.
> Notice there's no salt. I'm making an effort to control my sodium
> intake. Not on doctor's orders, but I want to avoid my doctor having to
> tell me. I add a pinch or so to each serving before eating. Along with
> several dashes of tobasco.
>


Personally, I'd toss a chopped onion in there to start.

Then add 2 to 4 cloves minced garlic, some dried tarragon, parsley, dill
and basil, as well as a bay leaf.

I also use wings instead of breasts. It's cheaper and tastier IMHO. :-)
--
Om.

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-*****." -Jack Nicholson
post #5 of 19

Re: Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

In article <eiTCe.1033$fx4.195@newssvr17.news.prodigy.com>,
"Dimitri" <Dimitri_C@prodigy.net> wrote:

> "LM" <monarch@airmail.net> wrote in message
> news:fgkgd1t9p21a6j7378teoaf891b7j2923i@4ax.com...
> > I've been making a chicken soup that needs punching up (recipe follows.)
> > I got it from my mother, and it's pretty good for a start, but needs
> > some umph, some bam, an element of "ummm thats good".
> >
> > What are some herbs or spices that I can add to liven it up?
> > What would you add if this were yours?
> >
> > Here's the recipe (my version in parens):
> >
> > Fill stock pot about half way or a little more with water (I'm guessing
> > 1 to 1.5 gallons but haven't measured the pot.)
> > 1.5-2 pounds chicken (breasts usually, whole in the pot until cooked
> > then chopped and returned)
> > 2-4 stalks of celery (bias cut)
> > 2-4 carrots (bias cut)
> > 2-4 med potatoes (I used about 5 med-small of some waxy variety)
> > 4-6 cups chicken broth (low-sodium and/or homemade)
> >
> > Bring to boil, reduce & simmer for about 3 hrs.
> > Notice there's no salt. I'm making an effort to control my sodium
> > intake. Not on doctor's orders, but I want to avoid my doctor having to
> > tell me. I add a pinch or so to each serving before eating. Along with
> > several dashes of tobasco.

>
> Without question lemon will do nicely to "punch up" the flavor. Thyme is
> also
> nice as is dill. BTW the difference between bottled and fresh lemons is
> substantial. Use fresh.
>
> Corn tortillas blended with some of the soup will give a nice body to the
> liquid.
>
> Dimitri
>
>


Corn Tortillas???

Sorry Dimitri but EW!!!

The last chicken soup I made was thickened (and flavored) nicely with a
small package of frozen peas, pureed........
--
Om.

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-*****." -Jack Nicholson
post #6 of 19

Re: Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

LM wrote:
> I've been making a chicken soup that needs punching up (recipe
> follows.) I got it from my mother, and it's pretty good for a start,
> but needs some umph, some bam, an element of "ummm thats good".
>
> What are some herbs or spices that I can add to liven it up?
> What would you add if this were yours?
>
> Here's the recipe (my version in parens):
>
> Fill stock pot about half way or a little more with water (I'm
> guessing 1 to 1.5 gallons but haven't measured the pot.)
> 1.5-2 pounds chicken (breasts usually, whole in the pot until cooked
> then chopped and returned)
> 2-4 stalks of celery (bias cut)
> 2-4 carrots (bias cut)
> 2-4 med potatoes (I used about 5 med-small of some waxy variety)
> 4-6 cups chicken broth (low-sodium and/or homemade)
>
> Bring to boil, reduce & simmer for about 3 hrs.
> Notice there's no salt. I'm making an effort to control my sodium
> intake. Not on doctor's orders, but I want to avoid my doctor having
> to tell me. I add a pinch or so to each serving before eating. Along
> with several dashes of tobasco.


I'd go with Julia's suggestion of using some dark meat as well as the breast
and add chopped onion along with your carrot and celery (hold off on the
potato!). Add a bay leaf or two also and some black pepper. But then, once
I was done cooking the chicken I'd remove and debone the chicken, strain the
broth (the veggies are basically compost at that point). Then start over
with the chicken meat and whatever veggies you want to add. As for herbs,
rubbed sage is great to add to chicken soup, also a little dried thyme would
perk it. up.

Jill
post #7 of 19

Re: Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

LM <monarch@airmail.net> wrote:

>I've been making a chicken soup that needs punching up (recipe follows.)
>I got it from my mother, and it's pretty good for a start, but needs
>some umph, some bam, an element of "ummm thats good".
>
>What are some herbs or spices that I can add to liven it up?
>What would you add if this were yours?
>
>Here's the recipe (my version in parens):
>
>Fill stock pot about half way or a little more with water (I'm guessing
>1 to 1.5 gallons but haven't measured the pot.)
>1.5-2 pounds chicken (breasts usually, whole in the pot until cooked
>then chopped and returned)
>2-4 stalks of celery (bias cut)
>2-4 carrots (bias cut)
>2-4 med potatoes (I used about 5 med-small of some waxy variety)
>4-6 cups chicken broth (low-sodium and/or homemade)
>
>Bring to boil, reduce & simmer for about 3 hrs.
>Notice there's no salt. I'm making an effort to control my sodium
>intake. Not on doctor's orders, but I want to avoid my doctor having to
>tell me. I add a pinch or so to each serving before eating. Along with
>several dashes of tobasco.


LM,
I'd cut waaay back on the water or eliminate it altogether, simply
rely on the chicken stock. Chicken breasts these days are mighty bland
and using that much water will dilute the flavour terribly. Use a
whole chicken, cut up, bones and all (they're a lot cheaper than
breasts too).
Eliminate the potatoes during the long simmering. Add them later if
you wish. Add some chunked onion & garlic, a couple of bay leaves, a
bit of fresh or dried thyme (but don't go overboard if it's quite
new).
Remove the onions, celery and carrots used during the long simmering,
they've given up most of their good. Add fresh veggies and simmer just
long enough to soften before serving.
Enjoy.

Ross.
To email, remove the "obvious" from my address.
post #8 of 19

Re: Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

"LM" <monarch@airmail.net> wrote in message
news:fgkgd1t9p21a6j7378teoaf891b7j2923i@4ax.com...
> I've been making a chicken soup that needs punching up (recipe follows.)
> I got it from my mother, and it's pretty good for a start, but needs
> some umph, some bam, an element of "ummm thats good".
>
> What are some herbs or spices that I can add to liven it up?
> What would you add if this were yours?
>
> Here's the recipe (my version in parens):
>
> Fill stock pot about half way or a little more with water (I'm guessing
> 1 to 1.5 gallons but haven't measured the pot.)
> 1.5-2 pounds chicken (breasts usually, whole in the pot until cooked
> then chopped and returned)
> 2-4 stalks of celery (bias cut)
> 2-4 carrots (bias cut)
> 2-4 med potatoes (I used about 5 med-small of some waxy variety)
> 4-6 cups chicken broth (low-sodium and/or homemade)
>
> Bring to boil, reduce & simmer for about 3 hrs.
> Notice there's no salt. I'm making an effort to control my sodium
> intake. Not on doctor's orders, but I want to avoid my doctor having to
> tell me. I add a pinch or so to each serving before eating. Along with
> several dashes of tobasco.
>


For my money, you get the best flavor if you start with stock. I don't add
potatoes to chicken soup, because I do add homemade noodles. For
herbs/spices, I add thyme, a bay leaf, black and white pepper (whole
peppercorns when making the stock, and freshly ground towards the end). For
a really good flavor boost, next time you make stock, take 2 cups of it and
bring to a boil. Keep at a light boil until reduced to a thick syrupy
texture. Use this for a flavor boost in soups, rice, etc.
From there you can go many ways. Chipotle, ancho and lemon for a nice
tortilla soup flavor. Lemon, garlic, and rosemary for a nice Greek lemon
soup flavor. Just experiment and see what you like.

kimberly
post #9 of 19

Re: Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

"LM" <monarch@airmail.net> wrote in message
news:fgkgd1t9p21a6j7378teoaf891b7j2923i@4ax.com...
> I've been making a chicken soup that needs punching up (recipe follows.)
> I got it from my mother, and it's pretty good for a start, but needs
> some umph, some bam, an element of "ummm thats good".
>
> What are some herbs or spices that I can add to liven it up?
> What would you add if this were yours?
>
> Here's the recipe (my version in parens):
>
> Fill stock pot about half way or a little more with water (I'm guessing
> 1 to 1.5 gallons but haven't measured the pot.)
> 1.5-2 pounds chicken (breasts usually, whole in the pot until cooked
> then chopped and returned)
> 2-4 stalks of celery (bias cut)
> 2-4 carrots (bias cut)
> 2-4 med potatoes (I used about 5 med-small of some waxy variety)
> 4-6 cups chicken broth (low-sodium and/or homemade)
>
> Bring to boil, reduce & simmer for about 3 hrs.
> Notice there's no salt. I'm making an effort to control my sodium
> intake. Not on doctor's orders, but I want to avoid my doctor having to
> tell me. I add a pinch or so to each serving before eating. Along with
> several dashes of tobasco.
>


I forgot to mention: I don't see any onions, leeks, scallions....where are
they?
Add a whole onion, quartered, and a couple leeks, split. You'll be amazed
how much flavor it adds.
You can also try some lemongrass too.
Oh and, get a stewing hen, then add a whole breast if you want the breast
meat in the soup. If you can't find a stewing hen, get some backs and necks,
wings, etc. It's much more flavor than breasts alone.

kimberly
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

Re: Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

>I
>don't see anything from the onion family such as onions, leeks or
>garlic. Onion family packs a lot of flavor.


Ah yes, forgot - one onion (large, I like onions)
post #11 of 19

Re: Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

"LM" <monarch@airmail.net> wrote in message
news:fgkgd1t9p21a6j7378teoaf891b7j2923i@4ax.com...
> I've been making a chicken soup that needs punching up (recipe follows.)
> I got it from my mother, and it's pretty good for a start, but needs
> some umph, some bam, an element of "ummm thats good".
>
> What are some herbs or spices that I can add to liven it up?
> What would you add if this were yours?


You've gotta have an onion or a couple of leeks imho.
post #12 of 19

Re: Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

LM <monarch@airmail.net> said:

> I've been making a chicken soup that needs punching up (recipe follows.)
> I got it from my mother, and it's pretty good for a start, but needs
> some umph, some bam, an element of "ummm thats good".


My friend Molly gave me her family recipe, and the thing that made it
different from all others that I'd tried was dill weed. Now I even add
dill weed to Campbell's chicken noodle! It's a very fresh flavor.

Carol
post #13 of 19

Re: Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

LM wrote:

> I've been making a chicken soup that needs punching up (recipe follows.)
> I got it from my mother, and it's pretty good for a start, but needs
> some umph, some bam, an element of "ummm thats good".
>
> What are some herbs or spices that I can add to liven it up?
> What would you add if this were yours?
>
> Here's the recipe (my version in parens):
>
> Fill stock pot about half way or a little more with water (I'm guessing
> 1 to 1.5 gallons but haven't measured the pot.)
> 1.5-2 pounds chicken (breasts usually, whole in the pot until cooked
> then chopped and returned)
> 2-4 stalks of celery (bias cut)
> 2-4 carrots (bias cut)
> 2-4 med potatoes (I used about 5 med-small of some waxy variety)
> 4-6 cups chicken broth (low-sodium and/or homemade)
>
> Bring to boil, reduce & simmer for about 3 hrs.
> Notice there's no salt. I'm making an effort to control my sodium
> intake. Not on doctor's orders, but I want to avoid my doctor having to
> tell me. I add a pinch or so to each serving before eating. Along with
> several dashes of tobasco.
>


I always add onions to my chicken soup. Chives are good too.
post #14 of 19

Re: Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

~patches~ wrote:
> LM wrote:
>
>> I've been making a chicken soup that needs punching up (recipe follows.)
>> I got it from my mother, and it's pretty good for a start, but needs
>> some umph, some bam, an element of "ummm thats good".
>>
>> What are some herbs or spices that I can add to liven it up?
>> What would you add if this were yours?
>>
>> Here's the recipe (my version in parens):
>>
>> Fill stock pot about half way or a little more with water (I'm guessing
>> 1 to 1.5 gallons but haven't measured the pot.)
>> 1.5-2 pounds chicken (breasts usually, whole in the pot until cooked
>> then chopped and returned)
>> 2-4 stalks of celery (bias cut)
>> 2-4 carrots (bias cut)
>> 2-4 med potatoes (I used about 5 med-small of some waxy variety)
>> 4-6 cups chicken broth (low-sodium and/or homemade)
>>
>> Bring to boil, reduce & simmer for about 3 hrs.
>> Notice there's no salt. I'm making an effort to control my sodium
>> intake. Not on doctor's orders, but I want to avoid my doctor having to
>> tell me. I add a pinch or so to each serving before eating. Along with
>> several dashes of tobasco.
>>

>
> I always add onions to my chicken soup. Chives are good too.



I agree with the onions, lots. I often add curry powder, too, or a
little chopped fresh jalapeno for a Mexican touch. I don't use
potatoes. The seem to "steal" a lot of the flavor/spice from soups.

My daughter usually adds garlic and hot dried red pepper flakes when
she makes chicken soup.

gloria p
post #15 of 19

Re: Chicken Soup: what herbs/spices?

"LM" <monarch@airmail.net> wrote in message
news:fgkgd1t9p21a6j7378teoaf891b7j2923i@4ax.com...
> I've been making a chicken soup that needs punching up (recipe follows.)
> I got it from my mother, and it's pretty good for a start, but needs
> some umph, some bam, an element of "ummm thats good".
>
> What are some herbs or spices that I can add to liven it up?
> What would you add if this were yours?
>
> Here's the recipe (my version in parens):
>
> Fill stock pot about half way or a little more with water (I'm guessing
> 1 to 1.5 gallons but haven't measured the pot.)
> 1.5-2 pounds chicken (breasts usually, whole in the pot until cooked
> then chopped and returned)
> 2-4 stalks of celery (bias cut)
> 2-4 carrots (bias cut)
> 2-4 med potatoes (I used about 5 med-small of some waxy variety)
> 4-6 cups chicken broth (low-sodium and/or homemade)
>
> Bring to boil, reduce & simmer for about 3 hrs.
> Notice there's no salt. I'm making an effort to control my sodium
> intake. Not on doctor's orders, but I want to avoid my doctor having to
> tell me. I add a pinch or so to each serving before eating. Along with
> several dashes of tobasco.


Well as some others and myself have mentioned in a couple chicken stock
threads, roasting the chicken pieces first makes for more flavourful results
(disclaimer: *IME*).

Herbs - good fresh parsley I find is great with chicken. Then there's a
little sage, thyme/and-or rosemary, just don't go overboard and kill it with
generosity - I find herbs used in things like this work best if a single one
does not jump to the front and scream at you, rather each adds to the
flavour subtly, offering a broader flavour.

Pepper - I personally love pepper with chicken soup!

As for other flavourful veggies - sweet corn!


Just my 2pennies!

',;~}~

Shaun aRe
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