One of my favourite things about fall & winter in Atlantic Canada is – not surprisingly – the food! Some may think that local options for fresh and flavourful goodies are limited, but I think it’s really just a matter of learning to cook with what’s available – you’ll be surprised and delighted to see just how many creative combinations our Nova Scotia produce can afford.
An all-time favourite recipe, though, is none other than classic chicken & vegetable soup. Soup is a great way to consume all sorts of different produce – not to mention an incredible way of using up the leftover bones and meat after cooking a whole chicken.
(Note – this recipe changes a little bit each time I make it, depending on what I’ve got in my fridge. Get creative with whatever you have on hand!)
- Chicken carcass* – I like to buy whole, free-range chickens from Martock Glen (available at the Dartmouth Farmers’ Market)
- 3 or 4 local, organic potatoes
- 4 locally grown carrots
- 1 locally grown onion, or leek – thickly chopped
- 4 stalks of celery – halved
- Chicken broth – either store bought or homemade
- Sea salt
- Seasoning of preference – thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, etc.
Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot. Pour a mix of water and/or chicken broth over all ingredients until just covered. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until chicken meat falls off the bones.
Remove all ingredients from the pot, and strain the broth (making sure to catch all chicken bones). Pick any remaining meat off of the bones, and chop veggies.
Return all ingredients to the pot. Do a taste test and see if the broth requires any additional seasoning. Adjust to taste. Heat, stir, and serve.
This recipe is a wonderful one to freeze and enjoy later, or place in individual-sized containers ready for lunch throughout the week.
*Tip: – just because you’ve finished cooking your whole chicken doesn’t mean you have to jump right into making soup. Once cool, feel free to place the chicken bones and leftover pieces of meat in a ziplock bag in the freezer until you’re ready to cook again.
There’s nothing better than a warm cup of soup on a chilly, fall day. What are some of your favourite seasonally-inspired meals?