It’s been said that chicken soup contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent a cold’s miserable side effects. We also add beans (which my family loves) for a little protein boost. So there’s a ton of nutritional value in this soup. — Bill Telepan, owner of Telepan restaurant and executive chef of Wellness in the Schools (WITS), a non-profit organization dedicated to making school food healthy.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can make the chicken stock in a regular pot. Just bring to a steady simmer and cook for 2 hours. Strain out, clean the pot, cook your vegetables as written, and you’re good to go. I like the slow cooker because I can leave the house without a flame going.
Place the wings, thighs, onions, garlic, and leek greens in a slow cooker with about 2 quarts of water. Set the heat to high and cook for 4 hours. Turn off when done.
When the soup is ready, place the oil, cabbage, leek whites, and a good pinch of salt into a 4- to 6-quart pot and, on medium-high heat, cook for 5 minutes, covered.
Add the carrots and rutabaga and another pinch of salt, and cover and cook another 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the beans to the pot. Then strain the stock into the pot. Reserve the thighs. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for another 20 to 25 minutes.
While the soup simmers, remove the skin, bone, and any cartilage from the chicken thighs. Shred the meat and add to the soup.
Serve with egg noodles, if desired.