Chicken and Dill Soup with Homemade Broth



Mystery solved. There are two elements required to make the perfect bowl of chicken soup: lots of fresh dill and a homemade broth. Fresh dill is, for lack of a better word, amazing. It literally transforms this chicken soup in to a noteworthy experience. Each slurp fills your mouth with a fresh burst of dill followed by silky and savory hot broth. There are a few tricks to making a great broth, which I will share with you here. What it boils down to (no pun intended) is patience and a little love.

This soup is worth it.

Tips to making the perfect homemade chicken broth:

Tip #1: collect the ends of carrots, celery, fennel, and/or other root vegetables throughout the week, and save them in a large Ziploc bag in the freezer until the bag is full. the more veggies the more flavorful your broth will be. Fennel is a must.

Tip#2: Save the carcass of rotisserie chickens or chicken "scraps" in the same manner. I like to have at least two chickens worth in the freezer before I make broth. Some recipes suggest roasting chicken before making broth which is why I save rotisserie chicken scraps. Roasting the bird really does give the final product a more refined and smoky taste. Waste not, want not.

Tip#3: For a clear broth, peel the onion. For a deeper color, keep the peel on. I always keep the peel on.

Tip#4: Always simmer, never boil. Boiling makes for a cloudy broth.

Tip #5: Following these tips without the chicken also makes the perfect vegetable broth.

Chicken and Dill Soup with Homemade Broth

Ingredients:

For Broth:
  • 1-2 chicken carcasses
  • 5 quarts water
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, whole
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 large fresh Italian parsley sprigs
  • 4 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Frozen vegetable scraps, to include at least:
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • The scraps from one fennel
For the soup:
  • 1 3 ¼ pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 cup onion, sliced
  • 1 ½ cups peeled carrot, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • ½ lb mixed fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill, chopped
Directions:
  1. Place both carcasses, 5 quarts water, halved onion, 2 whole garlic cloves, reserved frozen vegetables, 2 bay leaves, parsley sprigs, and thyme sprigs in 8-to10-quart pot. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat. Simmer 1 1/4 hours.
  2. Strain broth; return to pot and simmer until reduced to 7 cups. Turn down heat to low. Add chicken breasts; poach until cooked through. Remove chicken from broth and allow cooling; straining broth and setting aside. Shred chicken breast; reserve on side.
  3. Heat oil in another large pot over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion, sliced garlic, and 2 bay leaves; sauté 2 minutes. Add sliced carrots, celery, mushrooms, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and 7 cups broth; bring to a high simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Add shredded chicken; season with more salt and pepper. Garnish with a lot of fresh chopped dill.

9 comments:

  1. That's how I do my broth too - veggie left overs are the best! I also add jalapeno. Mmmm!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, jalapeno sounds amazing. I save everything...the ends of mushrooms, brussels, cabbage, etc. Why throw it away when you can build a compost pile or making a delicious chicken soup! lol

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  2. I do agree that broth is the key for great soups, also some herbs. I have dill in my garden, therefore this lovely soup is going on my table for this weekend.

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    Replies
    1. Awesome! Fresh dill from the garden just transforms food, don't you think? Have a great day :)

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  3. I could eat a whole big bowl of this healthy and beautiful soup. I don't know if it's allergies or a spring cold... but I have had a scratchy throat for days now... drinking warm liquids is the only thing that helps. This soup is fantastic. I love the addition of dill. :)

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    Replies
    1. Same here, Ramona! All I want is warm soup to cure these horrible allergies. Feel better soon :)

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  4. What a beautiful bowl of soup this is! I have never even thought about adding dill to mine!

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    Replies
    1. Dill is just amazing in this soup. I can't wait to hear if you like it!

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