Saturday, January 25, 2014

Feel Better Soup

Yesterday morning started with an 8:00 am visit to my GP, a doctor who, since 1974, has been treating my family, my children, and my grandchildren. I'd made an appointment a week earlier for a routine check up, but by the time I walked into the office Friday morning I was experiencing a full-blown cold, compliments of my grandsons and complete with coughing jags, headache, and a sore, red nose! Dr. Murray prescribed chicken soup and tissues and sent me on my way, saying I was not contagious and could go to work. So I went to work where, after an hour or so, co-workers gently, kindly, encouraged me to go home!!! So home I went, but first I stopped at the grocery store to pick up my prescription - for chicken soup, that is. After checking out can after can of different chicken soups and not finding what I wanted (reading labels is too much reality, sometimes), I decided to make my own. So, I picked up two quarts of chicken stock and then headed to the produce aisle for veggies. I came home and immediately started cooking, and have been eating the soup for two days. It's so warm, and comforting, and hearty and there must be something to the universal prescription of chicken soup for a cold, even if it is only a placebo effect. I feel so much better today than yesterday. I made this recipe up on the fly, and it is not a standard chicken soup. It reminds me of a nice Italian soup with greens or a bean-less minestrone. Check out the ingredients and you can see why.

Soooo good!


3 tablespoons olive oil (canola oil if you don't have olive)
1 medium sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup chopped green pepper (I buy red and green peppers chopped in the freezer section)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced (I buy it already minced in a jar)
2 stalks celery, chopped (include the green tops)
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons tomato paste (you can beat the squeeze tubes of tomato paste!)
2 quarts chicken stock
2 cooked chicken breasts halves or cutlets, diced (from my packet chicken, last post!)
12 turns ground black pepper
a couple of shakes of salt
half a bag of frozen leaf spinach
1 cup elbow macaroni
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

In a large pot or dutch oven on top of your stove, over medium to medium-high heat, warm up the oil and add the onions, red and green peppers, celery, and carrots. Cook for five minutes until the onions are translucent and the vegetables have given off a bit of liquid. Add the garlic and let it cook for a minute or two (don't let it brown). Stir in the tomato paste and mix well. Add chicken stock, pepper and salt. Bring to a boil. Add frozen spinach and return to a boil. Simmer for a while until the carrots are cooked through and the flavors have had a chance to meld, at least a half-hour.

While the soup is simmering, in a quart saucepan, cook the macaroni separately to al-dente stage (firm). Drain macaroni and add to cooked soup or put some macaroni in a bowl and ladle soup over top. I like the macaroni in the soup and I don't mind if it blows up a bit and gets soft, but if you want your macaroni firm, keep it separate until you serve the soup.

Sprinkle bowls of hot soup with cheese, and feel better soon!

If you'd like to make a vegetarian version of this soup, use vegetable stock and omit the chicken. Add beans or lentils for protein. 

PS - thought I'd share a photo of the cake I made today for new mom Lindsey and her soon-to-arrive baby girl Alena, and a couple of Pete, my youngest kitchen apprentice!


  1. Rod has been making a mean chicken, carrot, ditalini soup for a weeks now. SOOOOO...comforting. Hope you feel better real soon. Lynn E.

    1. Lynn, ditalini is my favorite pasta for soups, but I didn't have any so elbow macaroni had to stand in! I feel much ether already, thanks!

  2. Looks yummy! I have not seen anything on your blog yet that I wouldn't want to taste. The only recipe I have tried so far is your pineapple upside down cake. It was easy as you said and tasted great.

    1. Thanks so much, Kathy! Glad to hear you enjoyed the pineapple upside down recipe! Nothing tastes better than a piece of pineapple upside down cake with real whipped cream!

  3. love the cake very clever, as usual.
    soup sounds yummy, may have to try it before I need a "feel better" remedy

    1. The cake was fun to make - thanks Judy! And the soup is definitely just fine for when you're feeling well, too!

  4. love soups of all kinds ! this looks yummy !

  5. I like Shamrock cookies!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL Lynn E.

  6. But I will eat any kind of cookie that you make! HAHA Lynn E.