Remember the Campbell’s soup commercial with melting the snow man? Here’s the scene – it’s snowing, cold and windy outside. Christmas music is playing in the background as the camera zooms in on a snowman shivering in the wind outside. It’s a very cute snowman complete with a carrot nose, plaid scarf, button smile and big round black eyes outlined with slanted eyebrows. The snowman comes inside hangs up his scarf, then sits down at the kitchen table and starts slurping soup. As his exterior snowy layers melt, a little boy appears from underneath the snow.
That is exactly what I thought of last night as it was snowing outside and I was making chicken soup. It was our fourth nor’easter in a just three weeks! Lucky for us, the prediction of 17 inches didn’t happen. Instead, we got more like 8 inches. Phew!
So even if you are craving salads right now with the promise of spring, our bodies still need the warmth of soup. Which is exactly why I made soup, my body told me to!
For this soup, I added a mixture of vegetables that I had in my fridge along with some fresh grated turmeric and garlic. As I chopped celery to add to the leeks already sautéing in the pan, I wondered if Kelly would still eat the soup. She does not like celery and actually neither do I. Would it ruin the recipe? I thought. Then added it anyway knowing Scott loves celery.
About a half an hour later, Kelly came in the kitchen and asked, “What’s for dinner?”
“Chicken soup.” I said.
“Oh that sounds good.” She sounded pleased.
“Here, try some.” I replied, giving her small sampling. As she took her first spoonful, I held my breath. After another slurp, she shared her review, “Once again, you made a delicious soup Mom!”
“Oh yay! I’m so glad you like it.” I exclaimed, grateful I wouldn’t have to come up with a plan B for her dinner.
Then to my surprise, Kelly asked, “What are these little green onions?” I didn’t dare tell her it was celery. So instead I said, “Leeks, a kind of onion.”
“I like them.” She said finishing her first few spoonfuls and asking for more.
Whether or not it was the celery she was tasting or the leeks, I’m not exactly sure. But it reminded me of how she likes her vegetables cooked until they are mushy. It’s a texture thing. Two bowls later, she finished dinner, and I felt a small sense of accomplishment.
If your kids don’t like veggies, adding them to soups is a great way to get them to eat more vegetables. If they don’t like to see the vegetables or don’t like the texture, puree the soup. There is no right or wrong, it’s all about what tastes good to you and them!
Chicken Soup For The Soul
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 leek, chopped and rinsed well
1 bunch broccolini or 2 cups broccoli florets
2 whole organic boneless, chicken breasts, chopped into chunks
1/2 fennel bulb, chopped
2 containers Pacific organic bone broth or 8 cups homemade broth
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon red chilli pepper
1 tablespoon fresh grated turmeric
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
Banza gluten free pasta (optional)
Place a large soup pot on the stove over medium high heat. Add oil and leeks. Sauté for a few minutes. Stir in the chopped carrots, celery, and fennel. Cook for a few more minutes until beginning to brown a bit. Add broth, chicken and spices, including the turmeric and ginger.
Simmer for about twenty minutes until chicken is cooked. Stir in broccolini and simmer another five minutes. Don’t simmer too long or all the veggies will loose their shape.
If adding pasta, cook it separately or use leftover pasta and stir it in at the last minute, which is what I did.
Notes: As an option, you may remove veggies from pan to allow chicken to cook in broth then add them back once chicken is cooked. Another option is to use cooked chicken. But I like simmering the broth with the chicken, it gives it more flavor.