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If you have been reading the blog for long and taken a look at some of our previous meal plans, you’ll see that our family adores soups!  Rather, I adore them because they are so versatile, easy to prepare and you can make them stretch over several meals, making them very economical.

Although I’ve been making soups continuously this past winter, I found a soup recipe that has totally changed everything!

Enter: The Perpetual Soup.

In pursuit of health (and lowering our grocery budget), I have been trying to make homemade chicken stock more frequently, but it was always that one more thing I have to do, and so often I would forget about it or just not bother, and I would go back to buying store-bought chicken broth in a pinch.

I read Jenny’s blog, Nourished Kitchen, which has great information about bone broths, stocks, and wonderful whole-foods based recipes.  In it, she mentioned that she wanted her family to start consuming more stock as well, and this was the recipe that she tried!  It is SO easy to do, and it makes a continuous pot of soup, simmering slowly 24 hours a day, for you to take from it as you wish.

Here is what you need:

  • chicken bones
  • bay leaves
  • black peppercorns
  • vegetable scraps (celery, onions and parsley are recommended.  Carrots will make it too sweet, and other root veggies (turnips, rutabagas, etc) will give it a bitter flavor)
  • filtered water
  • crockpot
  • fine sieve, cheesecloth or re-usable coffee filter (I use the coffee filter method and its soooo easy)

Simply place a whole chicken carcass, along with the seasoning and veggie scraps inside of your crockpot, top it with filtered water, set it on low, cover and you’re done.  Keep this soup cooking for an entire week, and when you need broth for soups, stews, cooking your grains, or simply a warm snack, you’re all set!  Simply replenish the broth that you remove with fresh filtered water, and it will keep on cooking!

You can start consuming the broth after 24 hours, and I’ve found that between 24-48 hours, it will still retain much of it’s gelatin.  In her article, Jenny mentions that she keeps hers simmering for about 7 days, and that it reached peak flavor on about day 5.  I’ve found mine to be a shorter time – I usually let mine simmer for about 5 days, and I feel like it’s best after about day 3.  By the end of your stock, the bones should crush easily between your fingers, meaning that you’ve removed as many of the minerals and amino acids as possible.

Bone broth is a very easy and frugal first step in transitioning into a Traditional Foods Diet, not to mention the incredible health benefits!

For more info on bone broths, I highly recommend The Nourished Kitchen – there are a lot of whole food bloggers out there that have written about the benefits of broths, but Jenny has a wonderful series and I highly recommend her site!

Take a look at a few of her articles to get you started:

How To Make Bone Broth

The Benefits of Bone Broth

The Chicken Soup Cure

Perpetual Soup: The Easiest Bone Broth You’ll Make (here is her main article on Perpetual Soup.  Read the comments as well, as she addresses many good questions)

And now on to our meal plan!

This week, we’ll be having:

Monday – Roasted Chicken with veggies and rice (then the remains get thrown in with some onions, carrots, garlic and celery to make chicken stock for the week)

Tuesday – Breakfast for dinner; my favorite pancakes, cheese omelets, and beef bacon

Wednesday – Taco Salad with ground, seasoned venison, homemade refried beans and all the yummy toppings.

ThursdayCheesy Chicken Chimichangas (with the leftover chicken from Monday’s dinner)

Friday – Calzones with mozzarella, spinach, ground venison, tomato sauce and olives.  I simply use a pizza crust recipe and it’s so easy and filling!

Saturday/Sunday –

  • leftovers
  • popcorn + smoothies
  • fruit/veggie/cheese plates with hummus
  • grilled cheese + tomato soup
  • chicken noodle soup (use the Perpetual Soup, throw in some rice pasta, some chopped veggies and season to taste! SO easy!)

What is your favorite go-to meal?

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This post was linked to Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, Simple Living Wednesday at Our Simple Farm, Women Living Well Wednesday at Women Living Well, Recipe + Project Swap at Its a Keeper, Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS, Your Green Resource at Live Renewed, Fight Back Fridays at Food Renegade, Fresh Bites at Real Food Whole Health, Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist, The Welcome Home Link Up at Raising Arrows, The Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, The Sunday School Blog Carnival at Butter Believer, Seasonal Celebrations at Natural Mothers Network, Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager, Traditional Tuesdays at Cooking Traditional Food

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