Cappy's Chicken and Apple Soup

Makes 8 servings

Earlier in this chapter, I talked about the three recipes my great-grandmother used to make. Many of my friends' mothers and grandmothers made chicken soup with fresh dill in it. I personally am not a big fan of the dill flavor. This may be because my great-grandmother's chicken soup had apples in it, which made for a salty-sweet flavor that I loved as a child.

When my dog Cappy first came to me, I was told that he was 12 weeks old. After a few days, we went to the vet for his wellness checkup and first set of shots. To my and the vet's surprise, we found out that Cappy was only 5 or 6 weeks old. I took my little baby home with instructions on how to feed him, but I couldn't entice Cappy to eat, even from my hand.

I quickly made a batch of this chicken and apple soup. He was still too young to eat the chicken or the apples, but I knew that by dipping my fingers into the broth, I could start down the road of bonding and stimulate his appetite. Today, Cappy is a healthy 7-year-old Yorkie.

He weighs 4 1/2 pounds but can outrun my Labrador and my Chihuahua. To this day, he will sit in the kitchen on a dog bed patiently waiting for chicken and apple soup. I hope you try this wonderful combination; it really is a heart-warmer.

This soup will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer in an airtight container.

3-pound roasting chicken, quartered
2 quarts water
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped carrots
2 large apples, chopped
1 cup chopped green beans
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, or VA tablespoons parsley flakes
4 cups uncooked egg noodles

1. Place the chicken and water in a large stockpot. Cover and simmer until tender, about 2V2 hours.

2. Remove the chicken from the pot and strain the fat from the broth.

3. Let the chicken cool a bit, and then remove the skin and bones. Shred the meat into small pieces by pulling it apart with your hands. Use both white and dark meat. Then return the meat to the pot with the strained broth.

4. Add the chicken stock, salt, celery, carrots, apples, green beans, and parsley and cook until the vegetables are fork-tender, about 25 minutes.

5. Add the noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the noodles are tender.

6. Let cool to room temperature and serve.

Apple Tips

Buy firm, well-colored apples and make sure that there are no mushy or brown spots on them. The skin should be tight. To keep chopped apples from turning brown, squeeze lemon or lime juice on the cut pieces.
Applesauce can be used as an all-natural sweetener in any of my soup, stew, or kibble recipes for dogs.




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