As promised, tonight’s Sunday Late Night is a soup recipe thread, to get Firepups through the winter and over any colds and flu that wander our way. I hope you’ll join in!

I was lucky enough to have a remarkable chicken noodle-y soup concocted for me, pretty much from scratch although there is a little bit of a “mix” ingredient that I very much recommend. While canned or dry soups mixed up quickly will also work in a pinch, there’s nothing like having your whole house filled up with soup aroma before you actually get to eat it: it’s like soaking in soup goodness. Our house was filled with it for hours, and I felt better because of it.

This bad cold — not nasty, not the worst I’ve had — was this winter’s gift from a knocked-down Safeway checker who claimed his manager wouldn’t let him go home with his cold. I knew he was sick the moment I saw him last Saturday, but he’d been turned away from me bagging the previous customer’s groceries while I put mine on the conveyor belt. So he touched my stuff before I hardly got a chance to stop him. Germ-y, rheumy, runny — this young man was in terrible shape, with sunken eyes and a terrible cough to boot! And last Saturday was warm enough, and dry enough, that I’d gone out without gloves for the first time in days. I probably terrified him with my demands that he go home sick right now, and then I went on to speak with his manager, who promised to send him home.

I brought my groceries home and wiped each item carefully with Clorox Wipes, hoping to get rid of the worst of the germs, but by early Sunday afternoon I knew it was all for naught. Lucky me, though — Monday was the man-prince’s other day off, and Badger started in that morning with Soup For Me. I credit this effort with knocking back this cold, which looked simply awful on the Safeway checker. Winter colds usually take three weeks to run their course through my old bones, and I can safely say that today I’m on the upswing, shedding symptoms regularly. Sleep helps, and constant food if you can stand it, lots of fresh things and smoothies are best. I blasted this cold early on with Emergen-C as well, but that’s all par for the course for the three-week colds.

But it’s this soup I’m giving the Gold Medal to for Conquering My Cold. I hope you enjoy it, and that you’ll share your own soup recipes in the comments this evening. This thread could become a glorious virtual recipe book for all of us to bookmark when we need a New Soup in our house!

Badger’s Chicken Vegetable Soup

2 poached chicken breasts*
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
dash of pepper
32 oz. low-sodium chicken broth
1 package Cost Plus World Market Market Classics© Harvest Vegetable soup mix
6 cups water
2 carrots, cut into ½”- 1″ chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into ½” to 1″ chunks
5 green onions, cut into small slices (both white and green portions)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon lemon pepper or seasoning/pepper blend
¾ cup frozen peas

To poach chicken, place chicken breasts in pot or deep saucepan with chopped onion, garlic and dash of pepper. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow chicken to sit, covered, for 15 minutes until cooked through. Remove chicken and let cool on a plate. Remove boiled onion and garlic bits and pour remaining liquid into large soup pot.

While poaching chicken, combine chicken broth and water in the large pot over high heat. Open soup mix and remove seasoning packet and pasta packet. Set these aside. Add the rice and dried vegetables from soup mix to the pot and bring to boil. Then reduce heat and add carrots, celery and green onion. Add salt, sage, rosemary, thyme and lemon pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

When chicken has cooled enough to handle, chop and/or shred it into bite-sized pieces. Add to simmering rice-vegetable mixture and replace cover for remaining cooking time.

After 30 minutes, add pasta (from soup mix) and frozen peas. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in contents of soup mix seasoning packet and simmer for 5 additional minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Here’s the link to World Market’s soup section: http://www.worldmarket.com/category/food-and-drink/food/soups.do?nType=2

Now, what deliciousness have you to offer up and share with us tonight?

Photo by Beth Olam under Creative Commons license