Passover begins at the end of this month, and the checklist starts to form with all my to-dos. My biggest focus every year is the food. How do I make Passover healthy for my kids, my husband and myself? For almost two years, I have been eating a more Paleo diet (a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food).
I have found this way of eating simple and sustainable, and it keeps my weight stable and my tummy happy. I incorporate Paleo foods during Passover by including protein, healthy fats, vegetables and some selective fruits and nuts. Other then matzah for the seder, the rest of the holiday can be relatively Paleo.
I wanted to share a favorite staple here in our home, chicken soup. We eat soup all year round. The healing properties alone are incredible with bone-based soups. From a healthy gut to radiant skin and a boosted immune system – why wouldn’t we have bone broth all the time? There are actual cafés that serve just bone broth, almost like a coffee shop except much healthier and maybe not so addictive. The key step here is to simmer the bones from 6 to 72 hours. After doing so, you can freeze and use the broth as needed or have it available fresh to use throughout the week. I love to add whatever seasonal vegetables that are in season – so I mix it up all the time. I purposely didn’t make this soup with matzah balls, but if you just can’t have chicken soup without the matzah balls, then, by all means, include them.
May you have a kosher, healthy and meaningful seder.
No Matzah Ball Chicken Soup
1 whole chicken, 4-5 pounds
3 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered
6 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (or substitute 1pound baby carrots)
5 celery stalks, roughly chopped
4 sprigs of bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs of rosemary
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
4 parsnips, quartered
6 baby potatoes, quartered
1/2 butternut squash, quartered
4 sweet potatoes, quartered (any color)
1 whole leek, chopped
3 zucchinis, sliced
8 asparagus stalks, chopped
6 mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the chicken, onions, carrots and celery in a large stock pot (14 quarts or larger) and add enough water to fill the pot 3/4 ways to the top, approximately 8-10 quarts.
Bring to a boil.
Let the soup boil gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes, skimming off any froth as it forms.
Reduce the heat to low and bundle the sprigs of herbs together with cooking twine and add them along with the celery seed, salt and white pepper. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the soup after 90 minutes, and pull the meat off the bone. Return the meat back into the pot (be sure no bones get back into the pot).
Add parsnips, potatoes, butternut squash and sweet potatoes. Simmer for 90 minutes.
Add the leek, zucchini, asparagus and chopped mint. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove bundled herbs and season with salt and pepper.
Serve and enjoy!