My mother has always called chicken soup "nature's penicillin." If you're like most Americans, you've likely experienced the warmth-spreading, sinus-clearing, soul-soothing effects of a steamy bowl yourself and can relate 100%.
But here's the kicker: the moment you could most use a bowl of soup usually coincides with the moment you have the least energy and motivation to make it.
When you find yourself in this situation, you may feel reduced to less savory options.
1. You can either purchase your soup from a local spot (usually a deli or diner), and by the way, they may or may not be open when you need them, or...
2. You can settle for that murky-looking canned stuff that kind of hits the spot, but definitely doesn't taste homemade.
Although prepared items can be great in a pinch, soups that aren't homemade tend to be short on vegetables, high in sodium, and often contain a surplus of refined carbohydrates -- making them less healthful, less restorative, and sometimes less tasty than what you would have wanted.
I developed this recipe to show you there's a better way. Not only can your soup be SOUPER simple to prepare, it's a one-pot meal (yay for minimal clean up!) that results in leftovers you can rely on until you're back to feeling yourself. When you take this into consideration alongside its nutrition content, the decision to get cookin' becomes clear as broth.
By the way, you do not need to be sick to enjoy this recipe! Take it from me, someone who craves a bowl of soup at least once a week regardless of the season -- fresh soup is the best soup. This recipe in particular is great because it supplies ample veggies, vitamins and minerals, fluid, fiber, and protein, and contains less salt. My guy was so happy with this soup that I've added it to our regular dinner rotation!
However, if you are feeling under the weather, I've got an important tip for you. Don't wait until the snot hits the fan. Purchase ingredients and get to cooking the minute you feel a cold coming on. Whether you're hit like a ton of bricks with influenza, or develop no more than a sniffle, you will never regret having homemade soup at the ready for a quick heat and eat.
White Bean & Greens Chicken Soup Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes or less
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Yield = 6-8 servings (1 1/3 cups)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white part only
2 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1.5 lbs shredded chicken (skinless and boneless)
1 (2-inch) fresh rosemary sprig
1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups spinach/kale mixture (fresh, roughly chopped)
1/2 cup button mushrooms, 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1. Heat oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3–4 minutes or until tender but not browned.
2. Add broth, water, lemon juice, chicken, and rosemary; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, skimming occasionally.
3. Add beans and mushrooms; simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add spinach and kale, and cook 2–3 minutes more or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Remove rosemary sprig. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon parsley.