As the weather gets chilly, our bodies tend to rebel against us. The cold gets through to our bones and weakens our immune system, making us more susceptible to colds or the flu. Not to mention, it’s a general bummer to be so cold that it hurts. This is why hot soups are so popular this time of year.
Not only do hot soups warm your body and give you the strength to fend off the illnesses that are rampant this time of year, hot soups are actually beneficial to your health. It’s not just an old wives tale that you should have a steady diet of hot soups while you’re sick; science backs that up. When soup is made from bone broth, all of the vitamins and minerals that were in the nutrient-rich bones of the chicken (or whatever animal the broth is made from) transfer into the broth, which is easily absorbed into you body when you drink the broth. This gives you a boost of antioxidants and nutrients needed to crank your immune system into overdrive and keep you strong and healthy all winter long.
So now that we’ve convinced you why your winter should be filled with a lot more hot soup containers and a lot less cold and flu, stand by for our favorite bone broth recipe:
The Only Chicken Bone Broth Recipe You’ll Ever Need
- 1 Cup Carrots, Diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 Cup Celery, Sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 Cups Onion, Diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 5 or 6 Cloves Garlic, Minced (More if you’re feeling courageous. We feel like there’s no amount of garlic that’s too much.)
- Bones of a Whole Chicken*
- 1 TBSP Cumin**
- 1 TBSP Oregano
- 1 TBSP Paprika
- A Generous Helping Black Pepper
- 8 Cups Water (or more)
- Another Generous Amount Salt (We love pink Himalayan salt)
*You definitely shouldn’t buy meat only for the bones. We all love having the opportunity to double the usefulness of anything we do, and bone broth gives you the opportunity make a meal and then recycle the bones from it for your broth. We like to have one of those roasted chickens that you get from the deli at the grocery store for dinner, and then use the bones for bone broth the next night. Or pull the meat off the roasted chicken and reserve it for the chicken soup you’ll make with the bone broth.
**Use any seasoning you like to use with meat. We’ve had good results with chili, cayenne, and ground mustard as well. Your bone broth is a blank canvas, go crazy with it!
- Place the carrots, celery and onion in a slow cooker. In case you want a quick culinary lesson: the combination of two parts onion and one part carrots and celery is called “Mirepoix” and a very common dynamic in french cooking. If you ever want to impress a five-star chef, throw around the term “mirepoix” as if it’s common jargon for you. Also, acquaint yourself with using the mirepoix combination in your culinary creations. You’ll be glad you did. But we digress…
- Add garlic and the bones to the slow cooker. Pour water over everything until the bones are completely immersed. This is eight cups in our slow cooker, but depending on the size of your slow cooker and your bones, it might be more or less.
- Add the salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika to the pot. We just gave you this combination of spices to get you started. Once you become a bone broth expert, you can add any combination you like.
- Stir contents of slow cooker to incorporate.
- Turn the slow cooker on low for 12 hours. Leaving it overnight works well. If you aren’t around to turn it off in 12 hours, no problemo. We’ve left it for over 24 hours before, without any negative consequences.
- Once fully cooked, pour the contents of your slow cooker through a sieve to strain out the bones and vegetables (by now, they have been drained of their nutritional value, and can be discarded). The remaining golden-colored liquid is your bone broth. And it’s not a stretch to call it liquid gold.
- Use the broth in your favorite recipes or pour two cup portions into freezer-safe bags and store in the freezer for up to one year.