I am really into soup right now. OK, so maybe not Campbell’s, but if I could eat it, I would be into it.
I know it’s a little strange to be so into soup with summer right around the corner. Soup is a winter food, a comfort food. It’s also a leftover food and a food that can be made ahead and dished out after reheating for a couple of minutes in the microwave. In other words, soup is doing everything for me that I need it to do right now.
I’m going to be frank. This time of year, today in particular, sucks. I want to get in bed and stay there for a few days, but I have kids and so I can’t. I also know that once I get out of bed, I’ll have to turn on my brain and the memory will still be there, so I might as well just get up and deal with it rather than hide from it.
So. I have some unhealthy coping mechanisms, and one of them is eating. Fortunately, I’ve been able to turn this one around and make it work for me. If I didn’t like to eat so much, I never would have gotten into writing cookbooks or publishing this weekly blog. Soup is one of those foods that makes my life easier and warms me up like a big hug, so I like to eat it. Often. Honestly, that is comfort food to me. Soup doesn’t demand my attention at the 5 pm witching hour, which allows me just that much more time to be at the playground with my kids or tying up loose ends before everyone gets home. Me likey.
I like this particular recipe because 1) it uses up all of the leftovers 2) it takes 20 minutes to make from beginning to end 3) it’s cheap and 4) I can eat it all week for lunch and be getting my vegetables and protein all in one bowl. If you feel like it, you can even add in leftover (cooked) rice or gluten-free pasta.
So, dig in. I offer this one up to make you feel better and to warm the soul at a time when I really need it. What was that old tagline? Oh yes, Mmm Mmm Good.
Chicken Vegetable Soup
Serves 4 generously
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrot
1 pound diced chicken breast
10 cups chicken stock
10 sprigs fresh thyme
10 ounces pre-washed baby spinach (use organic, my nutritionist said so)
salt to taste
1) Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook them until they begin to soften, about 7-10 minutes. Add the diced chicken and brown it on all sides.
2) Add the chicken stock and the thyme and bring the soup to a boil. Immediately turn the heat to low and simmer for 11 minutes. Stir in the spinach in the last 4 minutes. Remove the thyme twigs and serve immediately.
3) The fully cooled soup may be stored in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.