Feel Better Spinach & Chicken Soup / Three ways to eat a lil bird.
Jan. 20, 2011 11:54 pm
Updated: Jan. 21, 2011 10:10 am
When I talked to my husband in the middle of his work day today, he sounded terrible. Immediately I asked, "what's wrong? do you have a bad headache?" Occasionally he gets these horrible headaches that render him miserable in such a way he is just incapacitated.
He can't sleep them away, he can't eat anything, he feels almost as if he is quickly coming down with some sort of bug. Sometimes it causes him to vomit. One of the only things that makes him feel better is taking hot showers. Sometimes several of them
over the course of a few hours.
He ended up coming home from work rather early, and went straight into the shower. He emerged asking for airborne and I made him take aspirin (he avoids pharmaceuticals, even your basic OTCs, as much as he can). He went to lay down. I offered to make him
tea; chamomile. He said he wanted to try to eat something, that he had tried to eat soup for lunch and couldn't eat much. I figured, saltines were a good place to start. He ate several and after a while I asked how he was feeling. Head: slightly better;
stomach: getting hungry. Alright, let's graduate to a healthy homemade soup for dinner!
I had bought one of those deli rotisserie-chickens at CostCo the other day and those little babies can give my husband and I three meals if I play my cards right:
First night: we carve it and serve it with roasted potatoes or garlic redskin mashed potatoes and a veggie such as garlic asparagus http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sauteed-Garlic-Asparagus/Detail.aspx or garlic green beans http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Garlic-Green-Beans/Detail.aspx<
Second meal: depending on how we tore into it the first go-round, sometimes I get left with a whole breast that I can split in two and serve that with a nice cream sauce over brown rice with steamed broccoli. If I'm left with more of chunks, I could start
with step two of my orange chicken recipe for a fun night of Asian-at-home. http://allrecipes.com/PersonalRecipe/62604383/Fast-As-Take-Out-Sweet-Sour-Orange-Chicken/Detail.aspx<
Third go-'round: now it's time to pick all the leftover scraps from the bird; the uneaten wings, maybe a drumstick, the small bits of meat tucked near joints, any edible shreds I can salvage-these scraps are the meat in a homemade chicken soup! I simmer all
the bones (saved from the first meal, too), any leftover juices, fat, skin and whatever leftovers from the carcass. I put it in a large pot and toss in 2" pieces of a carrot and celery stalk (leaves too), and a half a quartered onion, and some seasoning and
few herbs. Fresh made, delish stock!
With hubby feeling crummy, I decided to go for a VERY MILD SOUP that would be tolerable for his belly. Looking at what I had in the fridge, which included the all-important ingredients mentioned in the 'third go-'round' above, behold:
Feel Better Spinach & Chicken Soup!
1 TBSP olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 half an onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, including top, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 oz cooked, shredded chicken chunks (about a cup and a half)
2.5 oz cubed potato (one small peeled new potato)
32 oz chicken stock
2 oz fresh spinach (about a cup, packed)
1 cup great northern beans (I use re-hydrated, but you could used rinsed canned beans, or whatever variety of beans you want)
2 oz of a small pasta (I like stars! or perhaps you want to use rice instead)
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots and celery (mirepoix); heat until onion starts to turn translucent. Add the garlic and cook a few more minutes. Start the pasta in a separate pot so it wont suck up the broth when added to the soup.
You could cook it in some stock to add another layer of flavor. Once garlic has softened, add the stock. Toss in the potato cubes. Wash and chop the spinach; add to soup. It may look like a lot but it will shrink up quite a bit as it wilts. Stir in the
(prepared) beans. When pasta is done, drain, rinse and add to the soup. Season with the parsley, oregano and thyme. Allow to gently simmer for 30 minutes, give or take, so the potatoes and carrots can soften and the flavors can develop. Add salt and pepper
to taste. Serve with saltines, oyster crackers, or warm rolls.
Several hours later, our bellies are doing fine, still not hungry (usually I'm ready to eat again an hour or two after dinner), and hubby says he's feeling "pretty OK."
I hope you all are well or on your way to getting well with some warming, feel-good soups.
Spinach & Chicken Soup