Old Faithful Chicken or Red Meat Soup

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Old Faithful Chicken or Red Meat Soup

FODMAP friendly, lactose free, gluten free

Prep time: Overnight

Yield: about 6 servings

A person can almost live on this. If your insides are misbehaving, spoon half a cup of cooked white rice into a bowl, add a ladle of this soup, and call it a meal.

Drumsticks make excellent soup, since the big bones add superior flavor that the salt and vinegar draws out into the broth. Still, if you roast a whole chicken and have most of the carcass to work with, it can also give you a fine start on a pot of Old Faithful.

These vegetable quantities are approximate. Give it a nice balance of colors, and you’ll end up with eye appeal as well as balanced nutrients.

Ingredients & Instructions:

Step One: Evening Before

  • 1 pack chicken drumsticks (6-8 drumsticks), washed under running water
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt

Place these ingredients in a soup kettle or Dutch oven. Add water to cover, plus about half an inch. Bring to boil, cover the pot, lower the heat until it’s barely boiling, and simmer overnight. If the overpowering scent of simmering chicken keeps you awake, may I suggest a crock pot on a fireproof surface in your garage?


Step Two: Next Morning

Let the broth cool slightly, carefully pour it through a big metal* sieve or colander, and return the broth to the stove. As soon as the drumsticks are cool enough to handle – the meat will be falling off the bones – pick off the big hunks of chicken and return them to the broth. Discard skin, bones, and other gack. I “file” mine in a plastic bag in the freezer until the next trash pickup, because spoiling chicken debris can smell hideous.


Step Three: Right Away

To the simmering broth add:

  • 6-8 peeled, chopped carrots
  • 2-3 stalks celery (leaves are good seasoning), chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and chunked and/or 3-4 summer squash or zucchini, cut in chunks
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley—or fresh, if you can get it
  • 1 tsp dried sage, rubbed through a sieve
  • Sprinkling of pepper

Bring it back to a gentle simmer and let it simmer until about noon, especially if your tummy does best with well-cooked vegetables (Suggestion: always simmer long if you’re having a flare-up). If you’re able to digest your veggies crispier, count your blessings as you simmer until they’re just the way you like them.

Enjoy for lunch, or refrigerate immediately. Fresh herbs or thinly sliced green onion** make a lovely garnish. I like to freeze half of each batch in a large peanut butter jar, but frozen cooked potatoes or summer squash tend to disintegrate. Plan accordingly.


In Step One: Use about a pound of browned beef, bison, or game. Whatever you can digest.

In Step Two: With the vegetables, add half a bay leaf and a dash of ground cloves. Omit sage.


*Metal sieve: Some sources advise us not to use plastic dishes or containers with hot food. Others insist that research doesn’t confirm the fear-mongering. Here’s a note from snopes.com, my favorite rumor-checking source:

Dr. Rolf Halden of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health advises: “In general, whenever you heat something you increase the likelihood of pulling chemicals out. Chemicals can be released from plastic packaging materials like the kinds used in some microwave meals. If you are cooking with plastics or using plastic utensils, the best thing to do is to follow the directions and only use plastics that are specifically meant for cooking. Inert containers are best, for example heat-resistant glass, ceramics and good old stainless steel.” [Italics mine]

**Green onion: FODMAPers use only the green part.

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