4 Bone-in Chicken Breasts, skin removed
3-32 ounce boxes of low sodium chicken stock
2 cups water
2 sweet potatoes, halved
3 onions, peeled and halved
1 lb carrots, peeled and left whole
6 stalks of celery, trimmed and halved
1 bunch parsley, divided
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 whole lemon, squeezed (optional)
In a large stock pot, add chicken, vegetables and parsley stems. Cover with chicken stock and water and bring to a boil. Add peppercorns and turn heat down to a simmer, and cook for about 2 hours, skimming and discarding any impurities that rise to the surface.
After two hours, carefully remove the chicken breasts, carrots, sweet potato & celery and set aside. Strain the remaining contents of the stock pot through a fine mesh strainer into another pot, pushing down on the solids to extract the flavor. Discard solids and set the pot with broth over a low flame and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pull the cooked chicken from the bones and add about 2 cups of the meat to the broth, reserving the rest of the pulled chicken for later in the week. Slice carrots and celery and add them to the broth. Save the sweet potato for later in the week. Let soup simmer for about 10 minutes and garnish with fresh chopped parsley before serving.
If you'd like, serve with cooked egg noodles, rice or couscous.
Also optional, we often squeeze lemon juice into my chicken soup, especially when feeling under the weather.