This soup can be made sweet or salty. I like to take either vegetable stock or fish broth or clear water and slice in almost a whole palm size ginger root. I add green onions, Himalayan Sea salt, and pieces of white fish, if it is a salty soup. For sweet soup, I put chunks of crystallized ginger and agave or some organic brown sugar in a pot till almost boiling. It's very satisfying.
1 medium white or yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 celery stalks, chopped
8 ounces unpeeled scrubbed ginger, cut into 1/2'-thick slices
2 garlic cloves, crushed
10 whole black peppercorns
1 3-pound whole organic chicken, cut into 7 pieces (2 breasts, 2 legs with thighs attached, 2 wings, 1 back) (this is optional)
Kosher or Himalayan salt to taste
Cilantro leaves & Jalapeño peppers (optional)
1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large heavy pot. If you are adding chicken, placing breasts on top. Add 6 quarts water (preferably filtered or spring water); bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover with lid slightly ajar.
2. Reduce heat to low; simmer until chicken breasts are just cooked through, about 30 minutes. Transfer chicken breasts to a plate; let cool, then cover and chill.
3. Continue to simmer soup, uncovered, until broth is fully flavored, about 2 ½ hours longer. Return breasts to soup to rewarm, about 5 minutes.
4. Remove chicken from broth. When cool enough to handle, coarsely shred meat; discard skin and bones. Place a fine-mesh sieve over another large pot; strain broth, discarding solids in strainer (you should have about 8 cups broth). Season with your choice of salt.
Divide chicken among bowls. Pour hot broth over, dividing equally. Garnish soup with cilantro leaves and a few slices of jalapeño peppers, if desired.