Dutch Oven Chicken Soup (A.K.A. The best chicken soup ever made)

(another re-post) I officially did it… I made the most delicious chicken soup ever.

It may not be the prettiest chicken soup ever, but it is definitely the most delicious. Acorn squash is the secret ingredient to a perfectly balanced chicken soup… a little sweet a little savory… AMAZING! Acorn squash and chicken are apparently long lost lovers who were just waiting to be boiled into a giant pot of soup together. Who knew?

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized chicken
  • 1 acorn squash, cut in half with the seeds removed
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2″ chunk of ginger, chopped finely
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 plum tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shiitaki mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp rosemary, chopped
  • branch of thyme
  • 1 tsp of salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 6 cups of water

Method

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. On the stovetop, turn the heat under your dutch oven (or another large oven safe pot with a lid) to high. Rince the chicken off and plop it in the pot. Add the water and all other ingredients (except the acorn squash and the carrots). Bring the water to a boil, put the lid on it, and move the pot to the oven. While you have the oven open, put the two halves of the acorn squash on the rack as well.

After 30 minutes, remove the acorn squash halves from the oven and let them cool. Stir the soup a bit but then return the lid and leave it in the oven for another 30-40 minutes.

Remove the soup from the oven and return it to the stovetop on medium/low heat. With a large spatula or spoon, carefully remove the entire chicken from the soup pot. Put it on a separate plate and let it cool down. Also pull out the thyme stems if you see them floating around in there.

Check to see how your squash is doing. Has it cooled? If so, use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of the shells. Put it in a bowl and mash it up. Cut up your carrots if you haven’t done so already. Add both the squash and the carrots to the soup broth and let them simmer while the chicken cools.

Once the chicken has cooled down, remove as much skin and fat as you can and then get in there are pick all the meat out of it! This is pretty much the most annoying thing in the world, but… it will make you feel like a caveman ;) Pick through all the bones and get as much meat off of them as possible, cutting it up and throwing it into the simmering soup pot as you work. If you have a dog he will probably be on his best behavior as you pick apart the chicken so don’t forget to give him a bit for his excellent behavior.

After you’ve picked all the meat off of the bones and added them to the soup, put the lid back on the pot and let it simmer for another 20-30 minutes, or until the carrots have softened.

ENJOY!

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