The inevitable has happened. Mr. Sanders and I have caught COVID. We let our guard down after being so careful and conscientious. Naturally, I first cast aspersions on Mr. Sanders since he goes out into the wider world every day, mingling with humans. As self-appointed amateur CDC investigators, we counted back the days, and realized we must have been infected when we went to a timed and ticketed (yet still awfully crowded) traveling exhibit of paintings at a museum in the big city, where there must have been erudite virus-shedders. Thanks to all the hard work and science that Dr. Faucci has done we have been vaxxed and boosted every step of the way for the last three years, and our cases are fairly light, not that we don’t whine and complain and feel crummy. Luckily, just before the COVID boom crashed into me, I made a vat of chicken soup, which has sustained us this week. And Luke the wonder dog has been very helpful and sympathetic. He has been herding us along the road to recovery.
I prefer chicken soup with rice, while Mr. Sanders is a noodle fan. Both are easy to cook in advance, then put in the bowl just before adding the hot soup. Two happy patients, and no glue-y, congee barrel of chicken soup.
Rummage in the Pantry Chicken Soup
(not completely homemade – but if you feel a cold coming on, or you just got a positive COVID test, you had best get cracking!)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups cooked chicken, in bite-sized cubes
6 cups chicken broth or stock
2 cups cooked rice
Salt and pepper
Chopped fresh parsley, strictly for decoration
1. Heat a large pot or a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butter. When melted, add onion, celery, and carrot. Sauté until onion is clear and carrots softened. Add garlic, sauté for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add chicken. Stir and cover. Cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken broth. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add cooked rice. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Serve with Saltines.
4. Go back to bed!
This will be much better than Lipton’s Chicken Noodle dried-powder and freeze-dried chicken bits! And certainly better than Campbell’s. Have you ever looked at those pinkish chicken nubbins in the bottom of the can? Well, you were probably feverish and anything warm was going to do the trick.
Thanks again to our friends at Food52 for their brilliant, simple and easy to follow ideas: https://food52.com/recipes/7634-chicken-stoup
Nigella has wisdom to share, with matzo balls: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/chicken-soup-recipe/index.html
Epicurious is an excellent resource, too, with a New York deli variation: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-Soup-108014
A word to the wise: you are going to need chicken soup sooner or later this winter, healthy or not. It’s cold out there! And, no, it will never taste as good as your mother’s. It will ward not off COVID or the flu, but will ease the aches and pains of your miseries. And soon, you will feel right as rain.
“There is nothing like soup. It is by nature eccentric: no two are ever alike, unless of course you get your soup in a can.”
– Laurie Colwin