I had a very sour tummy the other day, so we made some homemade soup, so I could bask in the glory of hot broth and crackers. YUM!
You can start off w/ a big kettle of water and simmer various vegetables for hours to get rich veggie stock and make it a yummy vegetable and rice soup. Just leave out the chicken-y stuff and add MOAR VEGGIES! I tend to use large chunks of onion, carrot, daikon radish (instead of celery, which I loathe), whole cloves of garlic, and large chunks of ginger. I use large chunks so they can be removed from the broth later. Mushrooms are great to add as well...but they are expensive here. Also, if you use mushrooms often, save the stems, especially from portobello caps, and freeze them. They make great stock.
If you don't have the time on hand to make homemade stock, you can use broth. I love Better than Bouillon. I am not sure how much water we started w/, and we made two pots at once, but we added a little less than two spoonfuls of BtB to each pot.
To that was added, pretty much whatever salvageable produce we had handy. This time we had baby potatoes (halved if too big to be bite sized, but mostly left intact), chopped carrot, and a nice large chunk of cubed daikon radish (I don't know if you can get this in normal grocery stores, I know Asian markets have them, and they are staples in Korea). The radish gets nice and soft like potatoes or rutabagas and is so very mild in flavor (probably why it is popular for making gimchi). All of this added to the pot to boil. Once the pot was simmering away for about 30 minutes or so, we dropped one frozen chicken breast into each pot, which didn't sound like much, but was about perfect (also, we forgot to thaw the chicken ahead of time...but this turned out to be a great mistake to make!). This we turned on low, and let simmer for over an hour. All the flavors melded together beautifully, and the chicken shredded into the softest meat ever. The weaker broth we made was now rich w/ flavor.
A small cooker of rice gave a little more to the soup, and before serving just add a scoop of rice to the bowl. Very very filling in small amounts.
It has lasted us three days, and last night before putting it away we added another breast to the pot and let it re-simmer for the evening after dinner. Tonight I am going to make simple dumplings to steam on top for Chicken and Dumplings (just like Mom used to make!). So. Very. Tasty. This has also proven to be a very economical dish.
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