In the Kitchen: Chicken Soup (for Two Households)
I’ve mentioned we’ve been sick. Well, in this sickness, we have seen an outpouring of kindness – from texts, e-mails, phone messages to check in on us to friends grocery shopping, taking a less-sick child out and about, dropping off a chicken and children’s tylenol.
I am deeply grateful to be surrounded by this kind of community. My parents are out of town, and though I do miss my mom even more at times like this (hi mom!), what a blessing to have such great friends.
So when I recieved a text from a friend that her house was in a state of sick (and a much grosser kind of sick than we have), I decided I needed to DO something. And, after having a very early morning with my still-on-the-mend girls and a long day ahead of me, I knew I needed a mission that wasn’t about me. So off I set into the kitchen to create some nourishing, soul- and body-healing food.
I’ve written about taking someone a meal before (for this same reason of wanting to pay it forward, so to speak), but here’s what I actually made and brought over to my friend.
[I hesitate to write about bringing someone food because I know people do it all the time and I don’t want a pat on the back. The truth is: the last few years have been filled with people helping ME and US left and right that I love it when I get even one tiny window to help someone else.]
I was able to assemble the soup early enough in the day to take it to my friend cold along with a loaf of bread from the bread maker. It’s easier to transport soup when it’s cool, and it doesn’t take much effort or time to heat up.
Here it is – chicken soup from what I had on hand. I kept the soup flavor pretty bland – we’re all recovering from being sick, after all.
I started with the basics – onion, carrot, celery.
Chopped and added to a large pot with olive oil.
Add some salt and pepper (I like to touch my food) and allow to saute until vegetables become tender.
I had leftovers from a rotisserie chicken that a friend brought over (thank you Emma – it’s the gift that keeps on giving!), so I chopped it up and added it to the soup along with homemade chicken stock. I took a picture of the stock, but let’s face it, it looks kind of gross just sitting on the counter. I’ll spare you that photo and show you the gorgeous chicken.
Then I added a whole bunch of quinoa because I had it on hand and needed to use it up. I mean, I added a lot – maybe 1/2-3/4 of a cup. It made the soup pretty thick. You could use any grain you have like rice.
Then some of these lovely herbs. I love thyme in chicken soup. And I let it simmer away for about 20 minutes until the veggies were soft but not mush and the quinoa was cooked. Oops. You know what – I didn’t add the chicken when I said I did…see next slide…
Then I found these white beans in the freezer that I cooked last week with some garlic so I knew they were full of flavor. This is also when I actually added the chicken since it didn’t need to cook. But it probably doesn’t matter when you add it. Then I let the whole thing cook a few more minutes and then it sat for about 30-40 minutes until we were ready for lunch.
I kept thinking about the story in the Old Testament where the widow’s oil and flour never run out after the prophet Elijah visits her. And then I was thinking about the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
Now, my kitchen is full of food, so this is no modern-day miracle. But I just fed two families with very few ingredients and all the ingredients were whole, healthy, real. And maybe it wasn’t a miracle, but it felt like grace. I made the soup and I was so thankful.
I was thankful for a day filled with sunshine and the energy to cook for someone else.
I was thankful for full cupboards from which I could easily assemble a meal to feed two families.
I was thankful and could see grace written all over a simple meal.
Maybe everyday grace is indeed a miracle.