Great Aunt Sophie’s Chicken Soup

Six to Eight Servings

My Great Aunt Sophie was the matriarch of  my mother’s family. She and my grandmother promoted the health-giving properties of foods as early as the 1930’s when my mother was growing up. Here is one of her delicious, tried- and- tested panaceas. I’ve increased the garlic to suit my tastes.

1 whole chicken, preferably organic or free-range, weighing about 3 ½  to 4 pounds

1 ½ heads garlic, (about 21 cloves), smashed and peeled**

6 medium onions, peeled, halved, and each half cut into thirds

12 carrots, peeled, ends trimmed, cut lengthwise in half, and cut into 1 ½- inch sections

6 parsnips, peeled, ends trimmed, cut lengthwise in half and cut into 1 ½ -inch sections

1 bunch celery, weighing about 1 pound, rinsed, drained, ends trimmed, and stalks cut into 1 ½-inch lengths

14 cups water

1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

1 ½ teaspoons salt, or to taste

1.Remove any fat from around the cavity opening and neck of the chicken. Rinse the chicken lightly and drain; then, using a heavy knife or cleaver, cut it through the bones into 10 to 12 pieces.

2.Put the chicken pieces and remaining ingredients except for the salt in a large, heavy stock or soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat so that the liquid is still at a simmer and cook about 1 ¾ hours uncovered, skimming the broth to remove any impurities. Skim off any fat. (you may chill overnight and remove the fat which has solidified.). Add the salt, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Ladle chunks of chicken, vegetables, and soup into serving bowls and serve immediately.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2009

Easy Dinner: Roast Chicken and Tomatoes

With Thanksgiving coming up, roast chicken is probably the last thing you want to think about, but it’s always helpful to have new ideas for easy side dishes. Roast cherry tomatoes are simple to prepare and taste delicious. Use the leftovers on sandwiches or as a topping on grilled meats or seafood. Sprinkle the top with different herbs such as fresh or dried basil or oregano before baking, then toss with cooked whole wheat pasta, grated cheese, and some greens. Add cooked meat or seafood and you have a filling and healthy meal.

Enjoy the holiday!


Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Six Servings

I was introduced to roasted cherry tomatoes by a friend in London who often served them with their stems as an attractive and delicious side dish. I like to season them with oregano, but other herbs like thyme or basil are equally good.

1 ½ pounds cherry or grape tomatoes or 2 pints,  rinsed and drained

1 ½  tablespoons dried oregano

2 ½ tablespoons virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the cherry tomatoes in one layer in a non-reactive pan (not aluminum). Prick the tomatoes lightly with the tip of a small knife or a fork.

2. Sprinkle the oregano and drizzle the olive oil evenly over the tomatoes and roast for 30 to 35 minutes until soft and tender. Spoon into a bowl or  serve on plates.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2009.

Disclaimer: Herbs, foods, and other natural remedies are not substitutes for professional medical care.
For a specific health problem, consult a qualified health-care giver for guidance.