Chicken Soup for the Soul

I remember those Chicken Soup for the Soul books I used to see all the time when at bookstores or the library. I looked at the covers again and they seem very 90’s and early 2000’s to me, which is probably around the last time I picked one up. In case you haven’t heard of them, the general idea of the books was to share people’s stories and leave readers with a renewed hope for the human spirit.

To bring it all back to the topic of soup though, why did they call it Chicken Soup for the Soul? What is it about chicken soup that seems so nourishing and life-giving? I think we’ll just have to make our own chicken soup to find out!

Step 1 is to assemble ingredients and chop them up how you like them. I’m guessing some people like larger, chopped carrot pieces and others would prefer smaller, diced carrots (it’s the little things in life).

The ingredients I have here are rainbow carrots (from Trader Joe’s), celery (from Trader Joe’s), thyme (from Amazon Fresh), rosemary (from my neighbor’s yard), garlic (from Costco), bay leaves (from Sprouts), and onion (from Costco). Not pictured is a rotisserie chicken, which I bought at the California Ave farmer’s market from RoliRoti.

Please adjust the ratios to your personal preference, I think the soup will turn out great with a lot of different variations. For example, I personally dislike celery, so didn’t put much in.

Step 2 is to heat a large pot and melt butter (mo butter mo better). Then put the garlic and onions in, and stir/cover until the onions are soft. I put in about half of the thyme and rosemary in at this point and then (figuratively) throw in the carrots and celery.

Step 3 is to add the chicken. Since I’m using a rotisserie chicken, I just cut it into a couple pieces. If there’s too much, I’ll save some for a sandwich/wrap, or to be honest, just eat it on the spot. Once the chicken is in, I’ll stir it around a bit until everything is in harmony and then add water.

Step 4 is adding the water and remaining herbs. I usually add enough water to cover all the contents plus around 2 inches. Next, I’ll sprinkle in the rest of the thyme and rosemary, and add the bay leaves. Last in this step, I’ll add a good amount of sea salt.

Step 5 is to let everything come to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer and let all the delicious flavors blend together. This step usually takes around 30 minutes.

Step 6 is to take the chicken pieces out, remove the bones, and place the meat back in.

Step 7 The soup is done! Add pepper/salt to taste and serve with whatever you would like. I prefer my chicken soup with pita bread or rice, which both pretty much go with everything.