Valley Bounty: Chicken Soup

When we talk about “eating seasonally,” we often think of the purchases we make—finding locally-grown foods when they are freshest and most plentiful from local farms. That is a crucial element of it, of course, but equally important is the decision about what to do with said local food once it has made it from the farmers’ market into our kitchens. For me, developing some routines for preparing meals I was excited to eat, and that fit into my busy schedule, helped me both eat more local food and feel more in control of my overall diet.

One of the routines I’m most grateful for is finding some time on the weekend to make lunch to bring to work for the coming week. In this cooler weather, I find myself craving the warm comfort of chicken soup. Usually, I’ll put a whole chicken in the slow cooker on “low” for 4-6 hours, pull the meat off the bones, and add back in to the slow cooker with local veggies, some broth (homemade if I have it), rice or potatoes, and whatever herbs and spices strike my fancy, letting it all cook together for a few more hours. Now I’ve got a week’s worth of local, seasonal lunches, with a minimum of time spent over the stove.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)