For the past several days I have had the mother lode of colds. You know the kind. One of those sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, feverish affairs where your eyes won't stop watering and your head feels like it's locked up inside a steel drum. Many of you out there have shared with me that you are going through this too. Now, I don't know about you, but when I feel this way, all I want to do is sit on my pathetic, sick
little butt and let certain other people wait on me hand and foot, (like I do for them when they're sick). Yeah, right. Like that's ever gonna happen!
Wouldn't it be nice to at least have some nice, hot, homemade chicken soup to slurp up? You bet your a$$ it would! But, that can take hours, and frankly, when I feel this crappy, I just can't be bothered.
What if I told you that I've found a way for you to have a whole pot of nurturing, comforting, restorative, delicious, made from scratch Jewish penicillin in under an hour? Would you be interested? Well, this is your lucky day, because I am about to show you how! I promise that if you'll keep an open mind, your sinuses will soon follow suit.
The first thing you will need for this soup is one of these:
This is just what it looks like, a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. I generally try to get the plain, roasted kind, but in a pinch, a lemon pepper one will do. Just don't go for the barbecue kind. Not a good flavor for chicken soup! The great thing about using an already roasted chicken is that whomever you send to the store really can't mess it up.
The next things you'll need are some vegetables. I always use carrots, celery and onions to start, but sometimes I add parsnips, rutabaga, green beans or zucchini. It just depends on what you have and what you like. If you feel so crummy that you can't even bear the thought of chopping a few vegetables, you can also use frozen ones. I would still suggest you use some fresh carrots, celery and an onion though, because they will help to flavor your soup.
You will also need some canned chicken broth. Either regular or low sodium will do. I mix it half and half with water.
I also suggest having some kind of small pasta or pastina on hand to add at the end. You could also use microwaveable rice. Personally, I don't care for it, but it works in a pinch.
Fresh parsley or dill adds a nice touch, but if you don't already have some, skip it. The whole point of this is to keep things quick and easy, so you can rest!
Once you have all of your ingredients ready, all you have to do is toss them all (except the pastina) in a large stock pot and simmer for about 30-40 minutes. Then, take out the chicken and remove the meat from the carcass. Shred it and add it back to the soup. Remove the vegetables, slice them up and add them back in too. About ten minutes before you plan to eat your soup, add the pastina or rice to cook and voila! You're done!
This soup is really hearty and full of deep, rich homemade flavor. It's the perfect thing to nurse yourself back to health!
"Quick, But it Tastes Like it Took All Day" Chicken Soup (Printable Recipe)
1 fully cooked rotisserie chicken
3 carrots, trimmed, rinsed and scrubbed
3 ribs celery, trimmed and rinsed
1-2 onions, unpeeled and quartered
4 whole cloves
Small handful of parsley or dill sprigs
1 quart chicken broth
1-2 quarts water
1-2 cups uncooked pastina or other small pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Stud each clove in one onion quarter.
In a large stock pot, add the whole chicken, carrots, celery, onions and parsley or dill.
Add broth and water until chicken is just covered. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.
Remove chicken and vegetables. Strain soup and return to pot.
Add pastina to the soup and simmer about 8-10 minutes more, until pasta is tender.
Meanwhile, remove chicken meat from the carcass and slice the carrots and celery. Add all back to the pot.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley or dill, if desired.