Settling in and Nourishing Chicken Soup

Traveling is always hard, especially when you are trying to keep some resemblance of “normal” while you are on the road. What is “normal” anyways?

I feel like I’m just now settling back in. We had a month away for VISA paperwork and traveling, and upon arrival home, a house full of guests for well drilling, a visit from our language consultants, complete with examinations of our language learning progress, and a week later hosting a construction team from the U.S. Wow…I felt, at times, like I was hanging on just to make it through the ride… hence the temporary hiatus from blogging.

Now it’s just us again…and I’m drinking it in. We hadn’t been alone in our house since February 25th. That to say I am grateful and overwhelmed with the way the Lord blessed us this past month and a half with all that was accomplished and done to help us move forward in ministry, but I’m relishing the quiet moments of just being a family again, living life here.

I was planning on doing a motivating post on how I’ve jumped full swing into working out again, and cooking healthy nutritious food, but the truth is I’m run down, I’ve caught a mild cold, and I ate two cookies last night. Pete and I have both felt the need for extra sleep as we both are battling over the box of Kleenexes. Workouts have been short, light, or non- existent, and quick and easy has been the order in the kitchen. Think, toast, and smoothies.

As a little girl, whenever we came down with colds my Mom always made a giant pot of homemade chicken soup. It was amazing. I have never tasted chicken soup as good as Mom’s and even now at the age of almost 31, when the sniffles strike I want Mom to bring me a steaming mug of her soup. (don’t cry Mom, I’m good, really)

Inspired by my stuffy nose induced need for chicken soup, and the gorgeous Dutch oven I received as a gift for my 31st  birthday, I created my own version of Mom’s chicken soup. The broth has a hint of lemon from both zest and juice, and the addition of nutty brown rice makes it filling enough to be a meal its own. And the final addition of fresh parsley really brought the flavors together. This soup came together in 20 minutes, and it was delicious.

Chicken & Rice Soup with Lemon Broth 

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

2 large stalks celery, sliced thin

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

8 cups organic chicken broth (or vegetable broth would work fine too)

1 bay leaf

Zest of two lemons

Juice of one lemon

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I used home-canned chicken as that is what we have)

3 cups brown rice, cooked (I had some in a ziploc in the freezer)

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots, and celery, and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, 5 minutes or so. Add broth, bay leaf, lemon zest and juice, and stir well. Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to simmer until the carrots are cooked to your liking.

Add in the shredded chicken, and pre-cooked rice and cook for about three minutes so all the flavors meld together. Turn off heat remove bay leaf and stir in chopped parsley. Taste broth and add salt or pepper if needed.

Serve with a slice of homemade whole wheat bread, or one of my favorite recipes, millet muffins.

Mmmm, I feel better already.

What do you do to kick a cold to the curb? Do you have any favorite family remedies for colds?

2 thoughts on “Settling in and Nourishing Chicken Soup

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