How to cook chicken soup from scratch

Hi everyone, this is a guest post from Paleozilla, who will teach us how to cook a simple chicken soup. Be sure to get the best chicken you can get to make this a truly nutritious dish. Try to get free-range chicken or as a compromise, Sakura chicken, which is hormone free, live in a temperature-controlled, clean environment with enough space for them to roam about while listening to Mozart. Yes, Mozart…!

Simple Chicken Soup From Scratch for 3-4 People.
Preparation time 5-10 mins.
Cooking time 1.5 – 2.0 hours on a low heat.
Difficulty – very easy! Little preparation, just top up the water as you go along.

“As it says in the title, this is a simple way to make chicken soup from scratch and feeds 3-4 people. The recipe is a simple version of an English chicken soup that I grew up with. Chicken soup is a great recipe as it is easy to prepare and most of all because you get the very most out of your chicken with no waste at all. Furthermore, all the chicken innards, which have a lot of goodness but not everyone likes to eat separately, help to make the soup. Additionally this recipe is great because if you need to feed more people it is easy, follow the same steps with a bigger chicken and add more veggies. In fact, the recipe below is very simple and you can easily add more vegetables as you like; potato, leek, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, parsnip (for those in Europe), daikon radish (for those in Asia), beans, peas and so on. Stick to the harder type veggies such as root vegies as they will be cooked for a long time. To make sure it is chicken soup it is better not to use veggies that will disintegrate into the soup and flavor it too much such as squash or pumpkin.” – Tom

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2-3 large carrots
  • 1-2 onions
  • 2-3 sticks of celery
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves, handful of thyme
  • 4 pinches each of salt and pepper

Instructions:

1. Start with an entire chicken. Just be certain it is clean inside; rinse any excess blood out. I did not use the head but the neck, innards and claws all went in – all tasty goodness!

Chicken soup 1

Preparation is dead simple – the chicken needs little prep, only to be washed and the head to be cut off. The veggies want each end cut off. The onion and garlic need peeling, of course, but the carrot does not. Cut the veggies roughly into large pieces. Do not cut them too small as they will be cooked for 1.5 hours.

2. Pour the olive oil into the bottom of a large pan. Put the whole chicken into the pan and brown it on both sides. This should take a matter of a few minutes each side.

3. Remove the chicken and set it aside for now.

4. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the same oil and sweat the vegetables for 5-6 minutes.

5. Now put the chicken back into the pot on top of the vegetables and add enough cold water to cover the chicken entirely. Now season the soup with the bay leaves, a handful of thyme and 4 pinches each of salt and black pepper.

Chicken soup 2
The chicken is browned to give it more flavour

6. Close the lid and cook slowly on a medium-low heat for as long as it takes for the chicken meat to start to fall off the bone, approximately 1.5 – 2.0 hours on a low heat. The pot must be closed to retain the water. Continue reading How to cook chicken soup from scratch

Review: Project Paleo – finally! Paleo lunches in the CBD

Back in the 2013 when I first started this blog, there was no such thing as a paleo restaurant or takeaway or cafe in Singapore. You either had to cook at home to get a good paleo meal or just close an eye and brave it outside. First, Cavemen Food opened up at Novena Square Two. And now for people at Raffles Place, we have Project Paleo.

Here is the owner Joyce with her stall at 15 Phillip Street. Her food contain no refined sugar, no harmful additives, no diary and no gluten. Olive oil is used for cooking.

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All sets go for $8, which include one main and two sides. The mains range from chicken to fish to beef to pork. The sides include sweet potatoes, mushrooms and vegetables. And fear not if you are vegetarian because you can choose three sides as well.

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I chose the salmon with cauliflower rice and mushrooms. Here’s my verdict:

  • Salmon: tender but quite plain and less tasty than I expected.
  • Mushrooms: yummy! The best part of my dish.
  • Cauliflower rice: this tastes very interesting indeed – like coleslaw but a super healthy version. Some people in the paleo world eat this to simulate the mouth feel of real rice.
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Salmon, mushrooms and cauliflower rice

My overall thought was that the dish was very small. I wasn’t full after eating even though I enjoyed every delicious morsel of food. The salmon was 150 grams and for another $4 you can add on another 100 grams. Or maybe I just have a huge appetite! Continue reading Review: Project Paleo – finally! Paleo lunches in the CBD

Now online at The Naturalyst: paleo condiments and cooking essentials

I’ve lamented before that it’s never easy to eat paleo in Singapore. Every time I go to the supermarket, I have to read the ingredients label of everything I buy. Recently I was looking for miso soup paste and I had to study the back of every packet to find one that didn’t use MSG.

There is now a new online shop in town called The Naturalyst catering to us fussy paleo eaters. Run by a lady named Regina Soh who shares the same frustrations as me about the difficulties of healthy eating, she has stocked her online shop with essential paleo ingredients such as Red Boat fish sauce, which contains just two ingredients: fresh caught wild black anchovies and sea salt. Popular paleo blogger Nom Nom Paleo loves it in her dishes. It’s really freaking difficult to find sugar-free sauce so Red Boat fish sauce is a must.

I’m also excited by her supply of coconut aminos, which is used in the paleo world as a replacement for soy products. Coconut aminos are great when you need salty flavouring. I’ve used it to fry Shirataki no-calorie noodles. Before knowing of the existence of the Naturalyst, I bought my bottle of coconut aminos from iHerb.

So without further ado, let’s meet Regina and see what the paleo diet has done for her health.

Interview with Regina from The Naturalyst

Regina

Continue reading Now online at The Naturalyst: paleo condiments and cooking essentials

Review: Chocoelf sugar free chocolates

The last time I tried sugar-free chocolate did not turn out so well. The brand was Sugarless Gourmet Fresh Mint and I wrote about how the chocolate, which used maltitol to replace sugar, didn’t taste genuine enough. It wasn’t dark enough, it was too sweet and the mint taste was too strong.

I told myself that I would just stick to my favourite Lindt Excellence Extra Dark Chocolate 85%, which was a “real” chocolate that didn’t use fake sugar. But I was craving for other flavours so when I came across Chocoelf’s sugar-free chocolates at NTUC Unity, I caved and bought two flavours – mint and green tea. Each sold for $6.80.

Chocoelf singapore

Cocoelf beat the Sugarfree brand by miles. The chocolate was creamy and had the right balance of chocolate, cream and sweetness. I find that fake sugar tends to be quite cloying, and I have written about how I hate Stevia with a vengeance. Chocoelf, on the other hand, was pleasant and well balanced. Continue reading Review: Chocoelf sugar free chocolates

Paleo goodies for Christmas

I love December. It’s my favourite month of the year. We have Christmas and New Year is just round the corner. Work slows down. Everyone becomes more relaxed. It is also a time for pigging out on cakes, cookies and sweets galore.

I’ll be away for most of Christmas this year in Taiwan hiking in Taroko Gorge (yay!) but I have one or two parties to attend. What better way to introduce people to your fantastic paleo diet then baking some yummy goodies for them?

This year, I’m planning to bake at least one of these paleo goodies. Click on the title for the link to the recipes!

Paleo fruitcake 

This is a recipe by Elana’s Pantry and uses almond flour as the base.

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Continue reading Paleo goodies for Christmas

Today I can call myself a baker

I started baking quite recently. The urge to bake paleo bread and muffins was what made me buy an oven, buy measuring cups and an oven thermometer, among other nifty baking gadgets. It made me attend expensive bread baking classes at Shermay’s cooking school. It drove me to spend hours poring over recipe books.

I’ve never counted myself as a “baker” until today. Today, I sold my first loaf of paleo bread.

paleo bread

This simple paleo herb bread contains the most nutritious ingredients: almonds, fresh coconut, kampong eggs, yoghurt, butter, flaxseed meal and thyme.

It’s grain-free, gluten-free and sugar-free. This bread has been very difficult for me to master because of the lack of sugar. I found that baking banana paleo bread or any sweetened bread was easier because the sugar would mask any strange tastes. But I was determined to make one that was sugar-free yet tasted good. Honey was not acceptable. Artificial sweeteners had no place in my bread. Continue reading Today I can call myself a baker

Review: sugarless Blues Gourmet Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate

First of all, this chocolate bar is NOT paleo. It is low-carb, low-sugar and gluten-free. But it is definitely something to be avoided on a paleo lifestyle. That being said, I am reviewing this because I didn’t pay attention when I picked it up. All I thought was, “Ooh chocolate! Ooh sugarless chocolate!”

chocolate no sugarlow carb chocolate

This Sugarless Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate bar, which I purchased from SunMoon, contains: Maltitol, Cocoa Paste (Minimum Cocoa 52%), Cocoa Butter, Inulin, Cocoa Powder, Soy Lecithin, Natural Mint Flavour. There are 12 squares in the package and each square contains 39 calories and 0.02 gram of carbs. Continue reading Review: sugarless Blues Gourmet Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate

Recipe: bacon and cheese muffins made with coconut flour

You know that feeling when you’re stuck in a cooking rut? You cook the same thing every day using the same ingredients and your taste buds become numb. This is made worse when you’re on a restricted diet because there are so many things sold outside that are not good for your health.

As such it’s important to experiment once in a while with new recipes. I’ve only made sweet muffins so when I chanced upon this savoury muffin – containing cheese, eggs and bacon, I knew I had to try it.

bacon, cheese eggs paleo muffin Continue reading Recipe: bacon and cheese muffins made with coconut flour

Recipe: black pepper and cheese crackers

This is a recipe for paleo black pepper and cheese crackers. This recipe is not my own. I bought Peter Reinhart’s The Joy of Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Baking from The Book Depository recently. This book contains “80 Low-Carb Recipes That Offer Solutions for Celiac’s Disease, Diabetes, and Weight Loss”. Now Peter Reinhart is an expert bread baker who has written many books about bread making, including “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice”.

In his introduction, he said that had been overweight for 20 years. He weighed 214 pounds at the start of the writing the book but within two and a half weeks of eating a low-carb diet, he lost 14 pounds. He keeps his carb count to under 120 grams a day and sugar to about 15 grams a day.

His recipes rely a lot of nut flours and sugar substitutes. I’m not very keen on sugar substitutes after my disasterous Stevia experiment. So I chose a savoury recipe as my first since it would require little sugar.

peter reinhart gluten-free baking Continue reading Recipe: black pepper and cheese crackers