On the left here is Lake Winfield a favorite spot of mine where I can go and pretty much enjoy the beauty of nature. This was taken last summer! Occasionally I pull this photo up and simply gaze at it, and pretend the snow is gone, the chilling winds have died, and there is no longer two feet of snow covering my backyard.
But alas, March 3 tells me it is still winter, and we have a few more weeks to endure.
And like many out there, some of us are fighting the flu bug, or bronchitis, or some form of illness that seem to peak at this time of year. For me it has been chronic bronchitis which is more a nuisance than anything else, and usually vanishes when temps rise above 50 and stay there.
So what to do in the meantime!
Being that I'm a firm believer in the healing properties of the foods we eat, I thought I'd share this quick and easy chicken soup that will at least give you a feeling of comfort at the same time nourish the body as well as the soul.
I make this soup when it's cold, when I have a cold, or when I'm feeling too lazy to go out or cook (yes, technically this involves cooking but really is not much more complicated than heating a can of soup and tastes so much better).
1 chicken breast (frozen or fresh)
1 russet potato
1 small white onion
3-4 stalks celery
1/4 cup white wine
1/8 tsp. basil
1/8 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
about 3 or 4 cans of chicken stock (enough to cover ingredients)
Chop everything (except chicken breast) into bite size pieces (not too small as they shrink after cooking). Dump in chicken breast (add another chicken breast if you like more meat in your soup), add white wine, cover with chicken stock (I use Swanson's, which is available at Costco in cases), drop in bay leaf, and bring to boil then simmer until all of the vegetables are soft (about 45 minutes).
Pull out chicken breast and shred meat with forks then return to soup. Add herbs and salt and pepper to taste. You can add noodles at the end, although I find that they get soggy if you are making this quantity (enough for leftovers to reheat on the stove or in the microwave). You can also add whatever vegetables you like. The ones listed here are just the ones I like. Same with herbs. Sprinkle in whatever you like or whatever smells good. Since dried herbs are not anywhere near as pungent as fresh ones, they are really convenient for this soup (and you can get rid of some of those herbs that have been sitting around in your cupboard longer than you would ever admit to anyone else). Smell, add, taste, change, repeat (or not).
You can also omit the chicken breast, add some broccoli, a little cream (or not), and then puree with a hand blender, and get a richer, creamy version (don't add noodles if you do this).
Voila! Simple and easy and quick!Collette Thomas
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