Officially, tomorrow is the first day of fall. In New England however, fall can begin whenever it pleases. 🙂

Due to the bounty from the harvest, the crisp temperatures and my inability to sit still I began a frenzied cooking spree. One of the favorite soups in our home is the ever evolving Chicken Soup. Chicken Soup Cures All. There’s a secret weapon in my soup, an herbal one. It’s not all that uncommon, but as my friend Mr. Spectre520 pointed out.. it’s also a huge PITA in his area. If only I had such a problem!

Soups and broths are supposed to be nourishing through and through. This is why we use bones for the vital nutrients the marrow provide, root vegetables for their dense vitamin content and flavor, simmering slowly through the day (or over night.. who doesn’t <3 their crock pot?)

Back to the secret weapon…The addition isn’t really a secret at all. It’s just a double whammy punch of rich flavor, vitamins and immunity boosting goodness. Oh, and it’s an excellent for digestion, anti-inflammatory and protects your liver.

Can you guess what it is? Nope? Really? Okay I’ll give you a hint. It has something to do with Velcro. Yes, VELCRO! Why? Because while out walking his dog someone noticed the seed heads on this plant stuck to his dog and to his close. This inspired him to invent Velcro. I’m really not kidding! By now you’re convinced I’m completely bonkers and read the link. Yes, I am talking about Burdock. Specifically speaking of Burdock Root for my soup.

Burdock Root is easy to use in a soup. Here’s a basic recipe you can use to try:

  • Half of a free range, local chicken (including neck, liver, etc)
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and halved
  • about 5″ of Burdock Root, washed, split in half lengthwise

Place all of the above in a large stock pot. Add cool water until it covers the chicken, close the lid & bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer (you want the liquid to move, but you want a medium-low simmer), crack the lid and leave for 4-6 hours.

chicken, onion, burdock just starting to simmer

Now, I don’t touch the chicken until the meat has fallen off the bone and the bones break easily. Crock Pots are fantastic for this, put everything in before bed and your soup will be done by lunchtime the next day.

At this point I shut the heat off and grab a strainer/bowl. Using a slotted spoon I move all the solids into the strainer with the bowl beneath to catch any broth. Once the chicken cools enough to handle, separate the meat from the bones. Discard neck, organs, bones and burdock. You can add the onions back if you wish (I don’t, some do).

Here’s why I call it the Ever Evolving Chicken Soup. You’ve just made yourself one hell of a soup base. You can do pretty much whatever your heart desires for soup. Today’s soup included:

  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Summer Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Anazazi Bean
  • Salt
  • Thyme

A word on “doneness”… add the soft veggies last, just about 15 minutes before you intend on calling the soup done. Other root veggies you want to leave in for at least an hour or so. Salt and herbs to taste.

There you have it! Your healthy, hearty all purpose Chicken Soup, with an herb that helps kick it up a notch. How can that be a bad thing? Go try it! Send me a note and let me know how your version turned out.

Happy souping! 🙂 <3

All done!

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