Chicken Vegetable Soup. A 30 minute, 30 mile meal.
I’m so grateful that my tiny brand new blog is already reaching hundreds each day. My return to this wasn’t anticipated and I haven’t put forth the effort I should, but I didn’t think of this as a food and recipe blog, but a garden and farm blog with food. It seems that all you readers really like the food part…so I will do my best to develop that end of it more in the days to come!
That said, The primary reason I didn’t give the recipe concept more thought is based on some of the reasons why I stopped blogging about food in the first place. Authenticity. Food blogging can be a whole lot like fashion. Only in food blogging can something as simple as a potato be altered and edited until it stops looking like a potato and become a Cadillac! Ha! It’s also horribly wasteful, a recipe might be prepared several times in a single day only to be discarded because the skin didn’t look right, or the peas are wrinkled, or for any other number of reasons. The entire concept of heavily styled and staged photos of food that encourage waste is simply incompatible with the premise of cookery.
I knew I had two options if I made food the focus of this blog, the accepted route, and the authentic route. I’m not judging the accepted route! The photos are beautiful and a good recipe takes time and effort to develop. But for me, I’m more comfortable staying on the authentic route. Every photo I share is of the meal I’m sitting down to eat. They are not staged nor styled and with the exception of a little boost in light from Lightroom, they are what they are. They are also meals made countless times in my simple nearly original 1860’s farm house kitchen with no dishwasher, or prep space, or storage, or…well, you get the idea! Recipe testing is done the old fashioned way, by making it eating it many, many times over the years.
I realize that choosing the authentic route comes with less readership and ultimately less revenue, but it’s just not something I can compromise on. I’m here to educate and guide others just like you toward a new way of life that includes growing your own food, supporting local farms that are committed to ethical farming practices, and developing your intuition for the foods your body needs. And of course, how to cook and preserve it all. There is no other way to do that other than authentically.
With that behind us, let’s talk soup…
I missed sharing a recipe with you last week because it rained…again…and a lot of rain. Enough rain to cause some mess that needed cleaning up and also to be enough of a nuisance that everything takes three times as long to do as it should. It stinks to be a farmer when it never stops raining! We’re tired, and the extra work took enough toll on me that I needed as much rest as I could possibly get. I’m on year 18 living with MS, I’ve learned not to push myself anymore! I needed everything easy, and nothing is easier than soup in an Instant Pot!
Since I’m also feeling a bit under the weather I decided to throw together a rich, garlicky Chicken Vegetable Soup. Everything in it was sourced within 30 miles of our farm or grown right here. If you’re looking for ways to start eating very local, soups and stews are a great way to do it. Everything in this soup can be purchased at either the Vestal Farmers Market, The Broome County Regional Market, The Owego Farmers Market, Engelbert Farms or many others around the area.
Let’s dig in. As always, everything listed is grown and produced using organic and regenerative farming principles.
Chicken Vegetable Soup
by Colleen Cheechalk
makes 4 quarts
10 minutes active/10 minutes Instant Pot cook time
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts or about 1lb
2 small yellow onions, diced
1 cup red or green pepper, diced (I used cubanelles)
2 cups carrots, diced
4 cups potatoes, diced
1 cup peas
4 kale leaves with stems, chopped
6 big cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I used chicken bone broth)
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 TBSP fresh rosemary
1 TBSP fresh thyme
2 TBSP butter
salt and pepper to taste.
1. Set Instant Pot to Saut’, allow it to heat for a minute or two then melt the butter.
2. Add the onion, peppers, and carrots to the pot and saut’ until soft and just starting to caramelize.
3. Add the garlic and saut’ until fragrant.
4. Add the wine and deglaze the IP pan, being sure to scrape all the flavorful browned bits of the aromatics and butter. Turn off the IP
5. Add the potatoes, kale, peas, rosemary, thyme and chicken to the pot.
6. Add the stock.
7. Close the IP and set the valve to pressure. Using the pressure cook setting, set the timer for 10 minutes. Let the pressure release on its own when the cook time is over.
8. Serve with a generous amount of fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
* note 1* I used 2 frozen chicken breasts. If you use frozen meats or vegetables your cook time will be the same, however, it make take longer for your Instant Pot to achieve pressure. Your general cook time will be about 30 minutes total. This recipe can be made without an Instant Pot, but you’ll need to adjust your cooking time accordingly.
*note 2* all of my recipes are salted and peppered to taste. Once you start cooking this way, and with organically grown fresh whole ingredients, you’ll find that you use little salt because the flavors are so much more intense. Also, your palate and taste buds will begin to go through a ‘healing’ of sorts. The preservatives and additives of conventionally produced foods are foreign to tastebuds just like they are to our bodies!
I hope you’ll try this dish and keep it on your fall and winter meal rotation. It’s full of important nutrients that are so healing to the body. With cold and flu season quickly on the way it’s a great time to be stocking up the cool season vegetables like carrots, greens, potatoes, squashes, onions, garlic and herbs like parsley and sage. Prep and freeze them in meal sized servings so you have them ready when you need them quick, or you find yourself down for the count and in need of nourishing and restorative foods.