This is a soup kinda day here in Northeast Wisconsin! The pot of soup that simmered all day yesterday is back on the burner to simmer most of today. By the time it is done, the ends of the bones will be super soft. Letting it simmer till the whole bone is soft is probably the way to get the most minerals in the soup, but my husband can never wait that long! Towards the end, I do pull up the bones and crush the ends off into the soup so the marrow can leach into the broth too. (this is good nutrition and good flavor). So, later this afternoon I will pour it through the collander to make sure there are no bones in it. I have tried just fishing it all out --- there's always a bone left. Way better to put it through the collander. The skin, bits of meat, and vegetables will become chicken food -- they will think they got a GREAT New Year's Day meal :-). The bones will still have a lot of marrow in them, no sense in wasting it. When I boil up some soybeans for the chickens I will throw in the bones too, to get the rest of the nutrition out of them. I figure it becomes part of the next egg I eat. Until then, I will throw them in the freezer.
So now there is a pot of very rich broth, excellent nutrition for nursing moms and anybody who is ailing. Now, about 4 of my big homegrown potatoes gets cut up into bite size pieces and thrown in. I don't even peel my potatoes, but, I surely would if I used non-organic potatoes from the store. 2-3 big homegrown carrots get cut up, again, I don't peel mine from the garden. You can add barley, rice, or any other vegetable you might like. Let it simmer till everything is done. At the end I throw in 1/2 bag of egg noodles -- just for my husband (this year I am going to practice making my own noodles). Oh, and don't forget the leftover chicken! Now, season to taste. Always start with the boullion if you use it. I try to use the least amount possible, I don't like it's ingredients. It will need a little more salt, probably not any pepper, and about 2 tbls. of dried parsley. I think the parsley is more for looks then anything :-)
From this pot of soup my husband and I will eat 2 -3 meals, freeze a quart, and give a quart away. Nobody turns down homemade chicken soup! There is nothing like a hot bowl of homemade soup on a cold winter day. The only thing that could make it better is some homemade bread to go with it!!! Hhhhmmmm -----I have time :-)