Everyone appears to be excited about the weather turning cooler, pulling out the sweaters and boots, and putting the extra blanket back on the bed. Everyone, but me. I like warm weather!
The return of cool weather means it’s time to make soup! My love of making soup comes from my mom Wilma. She use to make big pots of it on Sundays when we were growing up. Her vegetable soup is to die for.
One of my favorite things to make in the fall is chicken soup. I have my own recipe I have used for years and it’s shared below. I also wanted to share one which gave specific ingredient measurements for someone who wanted to make a single meal only (mine gives you leftovers!). In this single link, on www.CookingLight.com, there are 25 chicken soup recipes!
In addition to so many different chicken soup recipes online, did you know there are more 250 books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series? Most of them are sold on their website. I digress!
Pick one of those recipes online or follow mine (below). First a few tips.
- Wash the celery thoroughly. There is a lot of dirt left in the core.
- Add the celery leaves! They are super healthy and give the soup a little nutty flavor.
- My recipe asks for a cup of onion and two cups of celery and carrots. If you add more than that, don’t worry!
- Parsnip is a root vegetable closely related to carrots and parsley. It tastes sweeter when cooked and adds a rich flavor to the soup. For more on parsnips, click here.
- Most recipes don’t call for red pepper or red pepper flakes, but the red pepper adds a little sweetness and the red pepper adds a little kick.
- Most also don’t call for corn, but I had a bowl of chicken soup in San Francisco four years ago that had corn in it and since then, I have added it to my soup too!
- Using a can of cream of chicken and a can of cream of celery makes the soup heartier.
- Some nights we grill a big mess of chicken so we have leftovers. When that happens, I chop the chicken up and add it to the soup. It also adds some extra flavor.
- Cook the bow tie pasta in a separate pot and add to your bowls at the last minute. Cuts down on the mush-factor.
- Add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Delish!
- Store the soup and the pasta in separate containers when refrigerating – then the pasta won’t get mushy.
- Don’t add much salt. There is salt in the broth and in the cream soup.
Michelle’s Chicken Soup
1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of celery (including leaves)
2 cups of carrot, cut coarsely
1 ½ cup of parsnip (one large parsnip)
4 cans of chicken broth
1 cup of frozen corn
1/2 cup of chopped red pepper
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of cream of celery soup
4 organic chicken breasts, cut and cubed
1 teaspoon of parsley
1/8 teaspoon of red flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of bow-tie pasta
- Chop all the vegetables.
- Heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic to the pot. Stir. Cook 10 minutes or until the onion is soft.
- Add the celery and carrots. Stir. Cook for 10 minutes
- Add frozen corn and red pepper. Stir. Cook 10 minutes
- Add 4 cans of chicken broth. Stir.
- Add cream of chicken and cream of celery soup. Stir occasionally and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add 4 organic chicken breasts. If the chicken is raw, cook for 40 minutes. If they are cooked already, cook 20 minutes.
- Add parsley and red flakes and salt and pepper to taste.
- While the soup is cooking, cook the pasta and set aside.
- When serving the soup, add pasta just before serving.
Why Travel, Cooking and DIY? A creative type, I have always loved painting and decorating as a hobby. Upcycling is a real passion. My mom was a Home Ec teacher when we were growing up. I learned a lot from her and because I love hosting get-togethers, I had to step up my game in the kitchen as well. And lastly, my love of travel comes from my Grandma Schmitt.
An Illinois native, I worked in the White House Communications Agency early in my career (President Reagan), prior to returning to Illinois State University to finish my undergraduate and Master's. After a couple of post-graduate internships (minor league baseball and Big Ten Conference), I then worked in college athletics full-time for more than 22 years -- first at the University of South Carolina for 15 years and then at Santa Clara University for the last seven years. We moved to Tampa, Florida in Dec., 2016 after spending 8.5 years in Northern California.