It’s that time of year again. I dread it like the plague and do all I can to keep my family from being hit by it, often to no avail. That’s right, it’s cold and flu season. Ugh. Last year Kellan got the flu the day after Christmas. Miserable. He went from being the happiest little boy playing with all his new things from Santa Claus, to running a 103 fever and looking pitiful in a few short hours. Oh well, what can you do? These things happen, and I try to not be crazy-hand-sanitizer-helicopter-mom…at least not in front of strangers. 🙂 As I type this I think of a friend who would probably like to call me out on that since I chased Kellan down with hand sanitizer after every ride at the Harvest Carnival last week. Like I said, I do what I can to prevent the ickiness, but try not to freak out when we get hit.
My husband came home from a conference last week with what he called a conference cold. He said he heard that when you go to these conferences you inevitably leave with a cold from being inside all day and then going from really cold indoor air temps to really warm, So Cal outdoor temps. I’d like to call the BS card on that one. You leave with a cold because you’ve been around a few thousand people with germs. Period. Can I get an amen, doctors? So he came home sniffling and I made a bee-line to the grocery store for all things pomegranate, acai, and green tea. Who knows if those things actually work but it’s nice to feel like you’re doing something to combat the virus. I also loaded up on everything I needed to make my homemade chicken noodle soup. I personally think this soup is amazing. It’s so fresh, so yummy, and feels so good going down a sore throat. My secret ingredient is fresh dill, the more the merrier. You can’t have too much fresh dill in this soup- it’s the superstar.
Remember this soup next time a loved one falls victim to the conference cold (chuckle). There’s nothing quite as comforting as a huge pot of homemade chicken noodle soup simmering on the stovetop. The smell alone makes me feel better, but there’s nothing but goodness in fresh vegetables, good chicken stock, tender breast meat and perfectly cooked noodles. And the dill…can’t forget about the star. Actually, don’t wait until you’re sick to enjoy this recipe. It’s good all of the time and might even taste a little better if you’re able to eat without sneezing, hacking or blowing your nose! 🙂
Happy cooking and stay well!
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, finely diced
1 small leek, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
½ cup fresh dill, minced (plus more if you want!)
8 cups no salt added chicken stock
8 oz. orzo pasta, cooked al dente separate from the soup
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a slower cooker or crock pot, cook the chicken with water filled a little over half way up the chicken, on low for 4 to 6 hours. Shred and set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven or stock pot. Once hot, add carrots and celery. Sauté 2 minutes. Add onion and leek and continue to cook until they are beginning to brown, another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add chicken stock and bring to a low simmer. Add chicken, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes to meld the flavors, but longer if you have the time. The lower and slower it cooks, the tastier it will be.
- Meanwhile in a well-salted pot of boiling water, cook the orzo according to package directions.
- Add dill to finish the soup. To serve, put about a 1/2 cup of orzo in the bottom of a soup bowl and ladle the chicken soup over the top.