Chicken Soup. It is known throughout the world for its healing powers. Tummy troubles, a touch of the flu, a broken arm, or just a really bad day - all ailments that can be cured with a steamy bowl of chicken-y, vegetable-y broth. If you are stuck in bed, add some Club crackers or Saltines, and an episode of I Love Lucy or The Dick Van Dyke Show. If you are up to eating at the table, add a crusty loaf of French bread and some homemade butter on the side, maybe a glass of red wine, if you are feeling indulgent.
I have a pot of soup on the stove now. I was inspired to make it because the weather is chilly and it just seems like the perfect fall day to eat chicken soup on the porch for dinner, bundled up in a scarf and hat, getting warmed up from the inside out. And yes, I realize that to most of my family, the New Yorkers and New Hampshirites, the Wisconsinites and Iowans and Nebraskans, 58 degrees is not scarf and hat worthy weather for you. But it goes from blazing hot summer to frosty cold winter around here, and my skin is just not thick enough to handle anything colder than 68 degrees without some sort of jacket or coverup.
Everyone seems to have their own recipe for chicken soup. They make it how their mom, or their mom's mom, or their great-grandad made it and that is the absolute, only, authentic way to make it. My recipe is not an old family recipe, it is just a simple technique. And in the case of foods like chicken soup, I think simple is always better.
The plus side to cooking something simple is that I can multi-task while I cook. And I don't mean send texts, or get something else crossed off my ever expanding to do list. I mean I can pray while I cook.
Do you pray over your food? I don't mean the right-before-you-eat, "God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food" type of praying, I mean while you are cooking. I've started doing this recently and I think it makes a difference in the end product.
Here is how it went today while I got the soup ready to go.
Olive oil in the pot, then sliced onions and garlic. Bless the people who are going to eat this soup.
Let cook until fragrant, then add some water. Allow this soup to bring them comfort.
Half-moon carrots and diagonally-sliced celery go in next. Let the nutrients from these vegetables be what their body needs to feel better.
Then come the chicken thighs. Let the protein from this chicken give them strength.
Cover with water and bring to a boil, then add salt, ground pepper, oregano, basil, and fresh rosemary. Bring them peace.
Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 1 to 2 hours, until the chicken pulls off the bone and the vegetables are cooked through. Thank you, Lord, for all you have already done in our lives, all your are doing, and all you will do.