Chicken Soup

20130121-092944.jpgTime has been passing in the most unfamiliar way for me. It seems like just yesterday it was August, and I was waddling around the swankiest neighborhood in town, trying to walk this baby out, because mine wasn’t safe enough for late evening walks. I was anxious to go into labor, so I could have the out of hospital birth I had planned. Luckily this sweet girl knew better, and stayed put until I had to be induced. She knew how to ensure her safe arrival. And here it is, halfway through January, and here I am, with a 4 month old baby already. It’s like an avalanche, starting off so small, and picking up speed and strength as it grows hurtling towards some unknown finish line. Time is measured in naps, baths, bedtime and doctors appointments. Days blend into one another, and I blink and an entire month has gone by.

I noticed this phenomenon a few nights ago, when I decided to drive. I realized I have barely been behind the wheel since August. I found it strange to be driving, unfamiliar and foreign.

20130121-093046.jpgPart of me aches for time to slow down. To stop moving so fast, damn it. I can barely remember her tiny moments they happen so quickly. What was she like as a newborn? When did she learn how to grab things? Where did this little personality come from? Then another part of me desperately wants time to pick up, cold and flu season to be over, to know what will happen when March arrives and I’m scheduled to return to work, for her to grow bigger and stronger every day.

I was trying to remember her first week home from the hospital recently, the one before she was readmitted. She was 3 weeks old and such an easy baby. She slept soundly and easily, learned how to nurse and handled visitors with ease. I remembered chicken soup that week.

20130121-093255.jpgChicken soup brought to us by our student midwife. We barely knew her when we had this baby. She was just learning and had only come along for our last few appointments. The day our babe was born, amidst the chaos, uncertainty and fear, there she was. She helped me to shower so I could go see the baby I hadn’t even touched and was desperate to get to. She brought me snacks, and joked with my husband to ease the tension. And then, a few weeks later, she brought us this amazing chicken soup. We ate it for days on end, there was so much and it was so delicious. It was hearty and healthy and exactly what we needed at that moment.

I tried to recreate her chicken soup. I thought of her making it, and wondered if she had any idea how much that soup, and how much her help, meant to us. It was one day, for a few hours, but it touched us in a way we couldn’t possibly explain.

This soup starts with a chicken, onions and garlic. It ends with greens and pasta. Somewhere in the middle are carrots, bay and thyme. It’s meant to be made in a huge batch, and frozen, for those times when life gets the best of you and you need something easy for dinner. It’s the prefect cure for a cold night or a stuffy nose. But please, keep your stuffy noses to yourself, we’re staying healthy this year.

Note: I do not recommend leaving the soup out overnight. You will wake up in the morning and really kick yourself for this one. Plus it totally defeats the purpose of making a big batch.

Chicken Soup

For this soup you can purchase a ready made rotisserie chicken, or do what I did, roast a whole chicken early in the week, use the meat all week long and then make the soup with the leftover meat and carcass.

Ingredients

1 whole chicken, cooked
1 medium yellow onion
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
3 cups of diced carrots
4 cups chopped kale or spinach
2 cups pasta of you choice.

Directions

1. In a large soup pot cover chicken with water and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to a simmer and cook for 2 hours. Remove carcass and allow to cool slightly. Strain broth to remove any debris that may remain. Remove meat from carcass and add to broth.

2. In a large dutch oven cook onions until tender. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add carrots and kale, allowing to cook for 5 minutes. Pour broth and chicken in vegetable mixture and simmer for 20 minutes. Add pasta and cook until tender.

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