day 23, almost done and chicken soup

7 days to go!
I can’t believe there is only a week left of our Whole30. The past 23 days have flown by in large part due to the hustle and bustle of Christmas, but eating this way has certainly kept things moving!
I can’t say it’s been all easy- I’ve learned to avoid Whole Foods during sample time, and just this morning declined my co-worker’s incredible chocolate birthday cake- but it has become easier. I enjoy preparing my own food and knowing what is in it. I enjoy that it has become a habit to bring my own food around and never feeling compelled to eat food I don’t especially want. I enjoy cooking to relax every night instead of sagging in front of the TV and I really enjoy discovering new ingredients and new favorite foods.
Now for the home stretch!
This was probably the hardest weekend I’ve had so far. A good friend of my was visiting and our friendship was born out of, and nurtured by, going out drinking during college. I wasn’t quite sure how his reaction would be to eliminating this activity. Fortunately, this soup won him over and even though he was confused, he never made me uncomfortable. Did I enjoy going out sober? Not particularly. Did it kill me? Absolutely not.

Anyway, back to soup… Roasted chickens are the meal that keeps on feeding. Roasted poultry and soup have always been a natural progression for my entire life. On the Friday after Thanksgiving my aunt makes broth from the turkey carcass and simmers a delicious soup during the afternoon while our second turkey cooks (with our family, “leftover night” is more an excuse to see one another again rather than a way to get rid of food). Every year I burn myself trying the soup prematurely, but it is always delicious! I ALWAYS make stock from my carcasses. It is incredibly easy and tastes 10x better than any stock you will buy from the store, I guarantee it. The best advice I ever read was to make stock in a 3:2 ratio- 3 parts water to 2 parts bone. This was almost a 3 lb bird which yielded me the desired 4 cups of stock.

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good stock will be gelatinous (almost like jell-o) after a day in the fridge. I have shamelessly eaten this out of the tupperware.

Chicken Soup (hearty 2 servings… I cook for myself! Sometimes in smaller portions!)

4 cups chicken stock (if you can, make your own!)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celary, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 leek, white part only, chopped
½ lb chicken, roasted, rested and chopped
1 tsp parsley
1 sprig thyme
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

heat oil in heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add remaining veggies. Let simmer about 15 minutes until veggies are cooked then add chicken and herbs for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, brighten with lemon juice.

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