Recently two members of our household (not me, not yet) succumbed to some sort of tummy ailment that precluded eating, and once they were on the mend and agitating for something more substantial than chamomile tea, I made this soup.
Those of us who could, literally, stomach food ate the soup as is; the Quickie Sickies drank the strained broth and pronounced it just the right thing at the right time.
And speaking of time, it takes an hour. And it’s cheap; I burrowed through the refrigerator and threw in what I could find, which, given the contents of my refrigerator, is sometimes odd. Feel free to mix and match with what’s hanging around in your crisper.
FAST, cheap chicken soup recipe:
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 mini portobello mushrooms, chopped (these add depth and complexity to the dish; if you don’t like mushrooms, skip ’em; if you have white buttons, use ’em; one time I used a little can. Making soup is remarkably flexible.)
- 1/2 cup chopped Delicata squash (bet you don’t have this; I do; I’m Awash with Squash; Delicata breaks down as it cooks and thickens the broth, but you could use a cup of chopped celery and or carrots instead; I didn’t use celery because I didn’t have it. Just don’t use anything too demanding, like broccoli, kale, or cabbage.)
- 1 Tablespoon Chicken broth paste (I use Better Than Bouillon organic, which I buy at Costco)
- Two boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- Two teaspoons curry powder (this stuff is pretty common, and you should be able to find it somewhere, some brand, in your grocery store. This is the link to curry powder at Amazon.com. This ingredient is also optional, if you’re one of those people who really, really hates any kind of spice, but the turmeric that is the major component of traditional curry powder is one of those good-for-you ingredients that adds a novel taste to the experience.)
Bring 1 quart water to boil. Yes, I know that this is breaking all the rules of haute cuisine. But this isn’t haute cuisine; it’s home cuisine, and while it may not be something you pay $12.95 per bowl for at a fine restaurant, it’s significantly better than anything you’ll get out of a can.
Add the onions, squash/celery/carrots, mushrooms, and chicken bouillon paste and bring back to a boil. Lower stove heat to medium to maintain a high simmer; stir down the contents if they start to overflow; leave pot uncovered; and let vegetables cook for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, check to make sure the vegetables are soft. If not, cook longer until they are.
Add one more quart water and two boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts; my chicken thighs came straight from the freezer. Leave the heat at medium; cover the pot with a lid but not tightly — leave the lid slightly askew so that there is a slight crack showing you the pot contents underneath; cook for 30 minutes more.
At the end of 30 minutes, take out the chicken pieces and chop them. If they’re still pink, and mine were because I started with a frozen product, toss the chopped pieces back in for another five minutes. Otherwise, just toss the chopped pieces back in.
Add the curry powder if you’re using it and salt to taste.
That’s it. One hour, most of it spent watching water simmer, or better yet, knitting a sock.
Bon Appetit, and Good Health to you and yours. I sincerely hope that you (and I) avoid the Tummy Flu.
This article was originally published at ThoughtfulWomen.org.
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