A Chicken Soup for the Timid Soul

It was not quite spring today, that transition period where you’re not sure whether it’s warm enough. To hedge my bets, I went out in full winter regalia–down coat, cap, and gloves–then unzipped the throat, took off the hat, and the gloves. Tonight’s dinner was something like that. A delicate chicken soup for a stomach that’s still tender, for getting over the stomach flu.

The “stock pot” as I call it, came with the teeny tiny apartment (2 rooms and a bathroom) and it is really a saucepan. At 11 this morning, I set the chicken stock to simmer–not boil–because I want to avoid that awful scum. I threw in what I had on hand: chicken scraps, half an onion, celery pieces, and a few frozen string beans. Then I waited.

At about 5 pm I strained the broth and wiped out the pot and poured the broth back in again. This time I set the heat on medium-low. I diced a carrot and two celery stalks and threw those into the broth to cook. I tasted and seasoned the resulting soup.  I thin-sliced a chicken breast and set it aside. Then I boiled a pot of water and put in a package of fresh noodles to cook until al dente. I put some chopped scallion and a handful of chicken pieces in a soup bowl, then ladled some hot soup over it. Using a spoon, I braised the chicken in the broth until it was no longer pink. I added more soup, noodles, and garnished it with cilantro.

I was so pleased with myself for making something light and nourishing. I was feeling quite virtuous until an hour later when AJ complained, I’m still hungry.  Chicken soup is indeed good for the soul but doesn’t satisfy the hungry man.

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