For the past five days, I’ve been down with a pretty hefty version of the flu. Thankfully, it took hold late Thanksgiving night, or it would have spoiled my holiday.
I’ve been on the Chicken Soup and Bed Rest Rx since.
Chicken soup in any language
Almost every culture and cusine around the world has a version of chicken soup, basically made by boiling a chicken or parts with bones in water, and adding vegetables or spices or other meats. Most cultures also include a starch such as noodles, matzo, rice or dumplings.
Chicken soup has been studied numerous times by hospitals and researchers as to its medicinal effects, but there’s no real conclusive evidence it works.
It doesn’t matter to a cold sufferer what the studies say – it’s comforting one way or another.
Here’s my sort of fast version.
Jan’s chicken soup
Note that you can add any leftover vegetables you have in the fridge or some frozen ones as you desire: beans, squash, corn, cabbage, peppers, peas – even tomatoes.
- 1 bone-in chicken, cut up
- 1-1/2 quarts chicken stock
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas
- 1-1/2 cups brown rice
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
Put the chicken in a pot covered by 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Cook until chicken is coming off bones.
Drain chicken, saving liquids; cool and remove all meat from chicken, discarding skin, bones and cartilage. Chop chicken into small, bite-sized pieces.
Strain liquid through cheesecloth-lined strainer into large soup pot. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add chicken, and remaining ingredients. Bring to a slight boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Simmer for 1 hour, stirring often.
Makes 2-1/2 quarts chicken soup. Freezes well.
TasteofHome.com – a comfort food website
Check out Tasteofhome.com for more home recipes; type chicken soup into their search bar to find dozens of variations.
The site is filled with thousands of recipes submitted by readers across the country and from around the world and is based on their magazine of the same name. It is the most widely read cooking magazine in the U.S.
The magazine is a community of cooks who are willing to share their recipes and techniques with other readers. The recipes are rated and commented on by other readers as well, so there are dozens of “testers” who report on the recipes. I encourage you to read comments on their recipes before cooking; several have technique tips and more that make the recipes even better.
The company also has published a number of cookbooks worth a look. New this year is Taste of Home Cookbook, 3rd Edition. It features a chapter on 30 minute “light” recipes, along with 1,500 recipes and variations for beginner and advanced cooks — all written by home cooks.