This for a nourishing breakfast soup will keep well for about a week in the refrigerator and also freezes well.
- 1 large, whole pastured chicken (5–6 pounds)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sea salt, plus additional to taste
- 2 tablespoons solid cooking fat
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger (3- to 4- inch piece)
- 2 large sweet potatoes, chopped into 1 1/2 inch chunks (about 6 cups)
- 2 large zucchini, chopped into 1 1/2 inch chunks (about 2 cups)
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and leaves divided and chopped
- 2 cups button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch green onions (ends removed), thinly sliced, for serving
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving
- Begin by cleaning the chicken (rinse it under cold water and remove loose bits of fat and other tissue). Place it in a large stock pot. If it doesn’t fit, you will have to cut it into halves or quarters (kitchen shears help here — start by cutting up one side of the backbone).
- Add the bay leaf, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon sea salt. Fill the pot with cold water until the chicken is just covered. Bring to a boil, and then cover tightly and lower the heat to a bare simmer. Cook until the meat is tender and falling off the bone, 60 to 90 minutes – the lower the simmer, the more tender the chicken will come out. Skim the surface of the broth to remove any scum that may appear during cooking.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside to cool. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer, being careful to save the broth in another pot! Discard the bay leaf.
- Place the empty pot back on the stove, add the solid cooking fat, and turn the heat to medium. When the fat has melted and the pan is hot, add the onions and cook, stirring, for 7 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for another few minutes, until fragrant.
- While the onions are cooking, remove the meat from the chicken carcass, shred it with two forks (CAUTION: hot!), and set it aside in the bowl. Keep the bones to add to your next batch of bone broth.
- Add the sweet potatoes and broth back to the pot, bring to a boil, and then cover and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the zucchini, chard stems, and mushrooms, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the chard leaves.
- Carefully transfer half of the soup to a blender, blend for 30 seconds, and transfer back to the pot. Alternatively, you could use an immersion blender to blend about half of the vegetables (CAUTION: Make sure you have a blender that can handle hot liquid, and make sure to use a towel above the lid to protect your hands from getting burned.)
- Return the blended liquid to the soup pot, with the chicken. Add salt to taste.
- Serve each bowl garnished with green onions and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 90 mins
- Category: soup