Cure for the Common Cold


Some days you just need a good old fashioned meal.  Something soul-warming, heating your insides slowly while you savor each bite.

I had one of those days today.

I'm fighting off a small head-cold and nothing sounded better than, well, what else? 

Chicken noodle soup.  But the hearty kind.  I'm not an all-broth-no-substance kind of girl.  I need chunky, stewy, thick, stick-to-your ribs soup.  Or, as Rachael Ray likes to say, "stoup". 

I've made many-a-chix noodle concoction over the years, some thicker than others.  Our family favorite is an almost gravy-like stew poured over flaky, buttery biscuits (this one is perfect for a post-hiking meal in the mountains).  However I wanted this version to be a little more soup-like, able to be sopped up with a few good slices of wholesome grainy bread.

A few weeks ago, while perusing the shelves at my local library I wandered over to the discard shelf.  I often scan it, nabbing whatever seems enticing, and that particular day I found a steal.  Gina and Pat Neely's first cookbook, "Down Home with the Neelys".  If you've never seen Gina and Pat's show on the Food Network, it's pretty hilarious.  They are a sweet, loveable southern couple who like to give on-air smooches and genuinely have a heart for the food they make.  My kind of people.  Thus, finding their cookbook on a lowly library discard shelf was akin to discovering a diamond in the rough.

And so it was.

There are a ton of great recipes in that thing.  Many of them are southern-inspired and about half include BBQ sauce (their homemade recipe of which I HAVE to make soon) but don't let that dissuade you, each one sounds delish.  I've tried a few in the past week but the one I'm about to share is by far my fav.

Their recipe for Mama Jean's Chicken Noodle Soup

After suffering for a good week with this nasty cold, I decided it was time to try it.  So I did.

And OH I'm glad for it.  It's the perfect balance of stewy and brothy, light enough to have an extra helping of bread on the side but filling and satisfying.  It's now at the top of my list.  However, I did change a few things (I usually do, ha).  First, to make it a bit richer, I added 1/3 cup of heavy cream.  I like my soup creamy.  I also didn't have the full amount of frozen peas so I threw in some frozen lima beans as well to make up for it.  Nobody noticed.  I like limas.  Don't discriminate.

Second, I didn't feel like making up the chicken first so I decided to buy a pre-baked rotisserie chicken from my local co-op.  Those things are SO flavorful and a cinch to pick up while shopping (and entirely prepared at that!).  And they are just pretty. 


I shredded it up and, voila!  Chicken's done.

Refer to the recipe link above for all the steps and ingredients. 
There aren't many- which makes this stuff even more fabulous-
it's simple, easily prepared, and chalk-full of flavor.

And yummy to look at.

And even yummier to eat.
Dish up a bowl for each of your family members...

And make LOTS extra to freeze for later,
I do this with nearly every recipe now that I have a deep-freeze.

Now that my cold is gone, I'm going to make this stuff more often.
And give due credit to its immune-boosting powers.

Try it, you'll be glad you did.


Rachel Farley said...

I was just thinking of this soup the other day while trying to fall asleep. I wanted to make a goal to make the best chicken noodle soup that I have ever had in my life :)

This one looks so good! I think their show is adorable.

I really wish we lived closer so we could cook together!

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