Ginger-Chicken Soup


We took some time off from gardening to enjoy the Holidays here at GFE.  The break was lovely and restorative - I got some good time on the coast, and curled up in front of the fire with my parent's 100lb golden retriever, ate latkes & candy canes, and visited with friends from out of town.  

After celebrating the start of a New Year I woke up in a fog. My throat was sore and my nose was stuffed.  After weeks of rich food, holiday parties, ginger cookies and strong coffee, I was sick. This ginger-chicken soup recipe is my foolproof way of getting better, and fast.  After one bowl, my stomach warms and I can feel my nose clearing and chest opening. The considerable amount of ginger makes the broth almost spicy and it cooks for so long the meat becomes tender and the soup takes on a beautiful rich color.  It's warm and comforting and simple - just how I like my Januarys.

Ginger-Chicken Soup
By Canal House (Melissa Hamilton & Christopher Hirsheimer)

  • 1 onion, sliced (I leave skins on)
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces unpeeled scrubbed ginger, cut into 1/2"-thick slices (yep, that's half a pound of ginger!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed (skin on)
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 3-pound whole organic chicken, cut into 7 pieces (2 breasts, 2 legs with thighs attached, 2 wings, 1 back) - ask your butcher and they will be happy to do it if you don't know how
  • Kosher salt to taste (I find it needs quite a bit!)
  • Cilantro leaves (optional yet perfect)

Place the onion, celery, ginger, garlic and peppercorns into a large heavy bottomed pot. Add your pieces of chicken, ending with the breasts so they rest on top.  Add 6 quarts of cold water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  This can take some time!

Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid, keeping it slightly ajar. Simmer for 30 min, then remove chicken breasts and place on a plate. Continue to cook broth for another 2.5 hours so it becomes rich and delicious. Remove the rest of the chicken and let cool. Pick all the chicken, including reserved breasts and taste for salt. Place some picked chicken in a soup bowl (or save/freeze/add to salad) along with a couple stems of cilantro. Ladle hot soup on top. Enjoy and feel better!