Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to School & My Chicken Soup

                                           It's that time of year - Back to School is upon us!

A trip to Walmart was in order so with list in hand we looked through the aisles and aisles of shiny new school supplies. I just had to buy these new Lisa Frank notebooks.  Aren't they great?

Emily picked out a package of those Ticonderoga pencils. All of Emily's textbooks were purchased 'used' on Amazon.  Still they were really expensive!

When I was just a kid I would look forward the back to school time of year.  The ritual of shopping for new clothes cuz you've outgrown everything, new pencils & notebooks for a fresh start.  Sometimes I'd get a new lunch box or Trapper keeper, remember those?

Emily got these Retro cool Oxford new shoes at Payless, 
thanks to Ivy who mentioned them on her wonderful  blog, Evies Tea Room

And we both got hit with summer colds! 

So, I whipped up a batch of my delicious homemade chicken soup which is as easy to make as it is to eat. 
I swear it's medicinal! 
Care to try it?

My Chicken Soup Recipe

2-5 frozen chicken breast or thighs
a 16oz carton of chicken broth
a Knorrs bouillion cube
dried basil, herb de Provence mix, cayenne pepper
rice or noodles

Place the chicken in a big soup pot and pour the broth over.  Add the bouillion cube and enough water from the tap to cover the chicken.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer on low until chicken is cooked. You may also substitute using fresh chicken instead of frozen, even already cooked chicken.  But you'll sacrifice some of the flavor that comes from cooking the chicken in the water, especially from the bones.

Add a tsp of Herb de Provence and a few shakes of cayenne, or more depending on your liking.  I find a little bit goes undetected by young palates but adds a tiny bit of heat which is so welcome when someone is suffering from a cold.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the vegetables.  I usually have fresh veg on hand but if I don't I just take some out of the deep freeze which helps cut the chopping time.

This soup, like so many aromatic & delicious recipes for soups and stews, has a Mirepoix base that gives the food that subtle melange of flavor that goes together so perfectly.  It's pronounced (mirh-pwah)  which in French cooking means the standard veg: carrots, celery and onion.  I use a couple of large carrots and slice them into coin shapes quickly using a mandoline slicer.  Then chop as much celery and onion as you like.  I like a lot of veg in my soup but I dislike slicing onion so I buy already chopped frozen onion from the grocery store.  Have you ever tried that trick before?

Anyway, throw all the veg in the pot to cook with the chicken.

When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and put it on a plate to cool.  To hasten the cooling process I sometimes stick the plate of chicken in the fridge.  While the chicken is cooling add some rice to the soup pot.  Follow the directions on the bag or box.

I like to put rice in my chicken soup but you might prefer noodles.  In my experience, the noodles tend to cook apart when you reheat them, especially if you like to cook big batches to stash in the freezer and enjoy at a later date.  That might not be an issue if you're cooking for a big family!

Once the chicken has cooled you can chop it up into 'easy to eat' chunks and add it back to the soup.  Sprinkle in at least a teaspoon of basil. I Love the taste of basil so I shake in quite a lot! I never add salt to this recipe because it has the salty bouillion cube which I find is enough for me.  Bring everything to a boil again, then simmer on low until meal time.  By this time your house should be redolent with the soup aroma!

Don't forget to take a taste to make sure the seasonings are just right.  I usually cannot wait to sample that tasty salty broth!
I'd say this takes about an hour to cook depending on what kind of chicken you have.
Then all you have to decide is whether to ladle the soup into mugs or bowls!
Sometimes we garnish with a dollop of sour cream.
    ~ Enjoy!

Let me know if you have questions or if you decide to give it a try.
Have a Lovely Back to School!
 ♥ Michelle


  1. Mmm reading you soup recipe made me so hungry I could almost smell it cooking! I might have to try making it but leave out the chicken!

    1. That is another benefit of homemade food, the mouthwatering cooking aromas! Soups are just about the easiest things to make and you can add any combination of veg to the mirepoix base, whatever you have on hand.

  2. Thank you for mentioning me! These oxfords are so great with everything. Not to mention the price is very fair!


    1. Thank YOU so much for featuring them with your outfit post. After I read your blog we went right out to our local store to try them on. Emily picked out a pair of penny loafers from Payless, too, and both were on sale for ~ $25


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