My daughter started orthodontia yesterday and has sore teeth today. To make eating easier for her, I've spent the morning assembling the ingredients for a chicken soup, which is now simmering on the stove (hence my delayed journey to my morning blogging). I'm not a very inspired cook but, if I do say so myself, I make a wonderful chicken soup broth. My secret: root vegetables.
Basically, aside from a whole chicken, I put into a huge pot every root vegetable I can think of. This means cleaning and chopping up carrots, celery, onion, ginger, parsnips, rootabagas, turnips, and leeks. Everything goes into the recipe in about equal amounts, with all of the ingredients (including the size chicken) being proportionate to whichever point I happen to use on that day. The only root I leave out is garlic, which is a bit too strong. I then top it off with fresh parsley and fresh dill, add salt and pepper, and bring the water level to about 1.5 inches below the top of the pot.
After bringing the pot to a boil, I just let it simmer for several hours. When it looks right (a very subjective thing), I take it off the heat. About an hour later, it's cooled enough for me to strain out a clear broth, skim off the fat, and to pick my way through the chicken and veggies, looking for things I want to keep as part of the broth. (The rest, I'm sorry to admit, I discard. No one in my family is going to eat rootabaga that's been cooked for six hours, but they'll all eat shredded chicken and cooked carrots.) Add homemade matzo balls, and you've got a meal that has the family coming back for more, and more, and more.