Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Chicken Wild Rice Soup, a Yummy & Responsible Recipe

Although soup season is really over, it was so cold and rainy here today I felt the urge for the kind of comfort that comes in a bowl of fragrant steaming soup. So, while it's cooking, let me give you my recipe.

Chicken Rice Soup
2-3 Cups Homemade Vegetable Broth1
1 cup of leftover chopped organic chicken2
2 carrots and 2 stalks celery, or other vegetables (preferably in-season)
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1 c cooked brown or wild rice3
parsley, thyme, salt and pepper to season

Chop all the veggies. Then throw everything in a pot and let simmer while you go do something else for 20 minutes. Should make about 2 servings.

Why is this recipe responsible?

1. Vegetable Broth
Save your scraps! I keep a bag in the freezer to which I add my veggie scraps: carrot and potato peels, celery tops, onion skins, etc. When the bag starts getting full, put the scraps into the crockpot and cook overnight, or simmer on the stove for at least an hour. Strain the broth and store in the freezer. This is how people recycled in the old days. It's basically free, full of vitamins, and tastes lovely.

2. Organic Chicken
I think most of us in the West need to reduce our consumption of meat - for many reasons, including our own health, for the health of the Earth, and in solidarity with those for whom meat is a luxury or even an impossibility. However, I eat fish or chicken a couple of times a week. I buy my chicken from this farm where the animals are "organic", treated humanely, and use land that is unsuitable to growing crops. Of course, this meat is a little more expensive than grocery store meat (only slightly since it comes directly from the farmer) so the best thing on a budget is simply to use less of it. Organic chicken in small amounts is healthier, and better for the environment than scary industrial chicken.

3. Rice
Wild rice is nutritious, high in fibre and protein, and has a nice texture that holds up well in soup. It is also native to Canada. On a budget? Bulk brown rice is cheap and also quite good in soup. Because it is dried, it takes up less space and so it can be transported using less resources, and stored without refrigeration, making it a fairly environmentally sound food.

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