Knee-deep in cold, blustering winter it should come as no surprise that I source comfort and warmth at every turn.
Peppermint tea is my coffee mug’s best friend. I wear slippers like they’re a runway fashion.
Scarves and woolly sweaters adorn my neck and torso like a koala baby to its mom.
Oh and the soup. I savour a hearty a bowl of soup almost daily.
Sunday is my meal-making day for the week ahead. And soup plays a starring role on my stove top.
The great thing about soup is all the possibilities. Little of this, little of that. Shake in some spice and you’ve got yum.
Lots and lots of yum.
The soup pictured above is a simple chicken soup with alphabet pasta.
Funny sidenote: I went to three different stores before I found the alphabet pasta: Loblaws, Bulk Barn and Sobeys. Bulk Barn had bug-shaped pasta which I considered and then quickly dismissed as the idea started grossing me out. Sobeys had the alphabet pasta – so yay!
Here’s my recipe for Simple Chicken Soup
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1-2 stalks of celery
- 1 carrot
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 2 cartons of low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 1/4-1/2 cup uncooked alphabet pasta**
- skinless boneless chicken thighs, and breast – cooked and cut into pieces*
- Finely chop the onion, celery and carrot; add olive oil to a large pot and sauté veggies over medium heat until vegetables “sweat”, stirring often. Add crushed garlic and sauté an additional 1-2 min.
- Add broth and bay leaf and let simmer until veggies are soft but still a bit firm.
- Meanwhile, cook alphabet pasta in separate pot according to package directions.
- Add cooked pasta to soup base along with diced chicken and peas.
Boom. You’re soup is done.
* If you like, you can add raw whole chicken thighs/breasts to the soup base at step 2. Cook until the chicken is cooked (ha. ha.) then remove and let cool. Once cool enough to touch, shred/dice the chicken and add back to the soup base at step 4. If you want to shave off some prep time, buy a roasted whole chicken from your favourite grocery store.
** Egg noodles also work well! Don’t bother pre-cooking; just dump in the pot and simmer until noodles are tender (about 6 min.).
Gently reheat if serving soup right away (don’t forget to remove the bay leaf before serving!) or let cool and freeze for future lunches/dinners.
What’s your go-to comfort food in winter?
p.s. I purposely don’t add any salt to my soup because I don’t think it needs it. Plus folks can season with salt and pepper – and even hot sauce – at the table to their liking.