Winter Farmers Market Chicken Soup

Big things have been happening in my kitchen lately. Winter has been brutal, so I have had to increase my tea intake - I am drinking at least 4 cups a day, and in the spirit of accepting cool gadgets (and avoiding the microwave) in 2013, I got a few new things for my tea-drinking. I had been looking for some new mugs that are huge with a big handle, and I got some great ones at Marshalls with a very old store credit. There was a fourth one that said "Crazy Cat Lady", but that one was for Mal of course. I also got this great cuisinart electric tea kettle. It has six temperature settings and heats up in just a couple of minutes. It is faster than a standard tea kettle and safer than the microwave, so really a win-win. Lastly was the most romantic gift a girl could get from her boyfriend - an infrared thermometer. You may be wondering why it is such a life-changing gift, but we discovered in Vermont that my ideal tea temperature is 140 degrees (very hot still but not hot enough to burn my mouth). Even though the tea kettle has temperature settings, you have to steep the tea after the water is heated, so I couldn't take the chance of drinking my tea at the wrong temperature! Now all my cups of tea are perfect, and I can check the temperature of my computer, walls, feet, etc. when I'm bored. Any guys out there stuck on a Valentine's gift for your girlfriend/wife... you're welcome!

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I had another great trip to the Cambridge Winter Farmers Market on Saturday. I was craving soup (like always), so I decided to go with a winter chicken soup - all ingredients (other than olive oil and broth) can be found at the market, and the soup is fantastic. It is hearty, sweet, and perfect for these 10-degree nights we've been having. Heat yourself up with some 140-degree tea and a bowl of chicken soup, and you'll be good to go! Spring will be here in no time...

Winter Farmers Market Chicken Soup

Serves 10ish (it's a lot), Prep time: 30 min, Cook time: 2 hr

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet onions, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, chopped
  • 5 carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 5 parsnips, peeled & chopped
  • A 5lb. free-range organic chicken
  • 2 quarts low sodium organic vegetable broth
  • Sea salt, pepper, paprika, & thyme
  • 2 bunches kale

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and add onion, shallots, and garlic for 5-10 minutes
  2. Place whole chicken on top of onions and season generally on both sides with salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme
  3. Add the carrots and parsnips 
  4. Cover the chicken and veggies with your broth (can use half broth and half water if you want) 
  5. Bring the pot to a rapid boil and then cover the pot and cook on low for at least 90 minutes 
  6. Take the chicken out of the pot, remove skin and bones, and add all shredded meat back into the pot
  7. Break your kale into 1-inch pieces, add to the pot, and cook for another 5 minutes
  8. Enjoy your local soup!
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