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Surviving on Soup

Posted on December 16, 2012

Chicken Soup

Just when you start in on those healthy resolutions for 2013, the first sneeze of the year reminds you that cold and flu season is still very much in full swing. Instead of giving in  and crawling back to bed, fend off that not so good feeling with a great big bowl of chicken soup. If you have just a few minutes of prep, a short list of ingredients and a little patience (best things come to those who wait and all), you can prepare a variety of delicious chicken soup recipes to help you weather the season.

Give it a boost: Carrots, onions and celery remain the go to veggies for traditional chicken noodle soup, but there’s plenty of room in the pot for extra potent, vitamin and antioxidant packed alternatives. Toss in some garlic for a boost to the immune system or add some A with a handful of chopped spinach. How about those dried herbs that will lend tons of flavor like parsley, dill and basil? Bring ’em all as they offer loads of immunity strengthening vitamin A to boot.

Can the stock: Feeling extra low on energy? While chicken stock is simple to make from scratch, it’s even easier out of a can. Simply pull pieces of cooked rotisserie FreeBird off the bone, add veggies and cook just until tender.  Quick cooking pasta like orzo, miniature shells or bite size pieces of spaghetti can be simmered right in the pot as well.

Stock the pantry: There’s no time like the winter to get your pantry into ship shape. That means having all of the necessary ingredients to put together a great pot on a moments notice. Beans of all types, particularly white, black and pintos are terrific to bulk up a chicken soup and add some texture. Onions, potatoes and other root veggies store easily for weeks in a cool dry climate and fill your bowl with tons of flavor. Whole grains like quinoa, barley and brown rice are great to have on hand when you’re looking to prepare a hearty chicken soup that’ll keep you feeling warm and toasty from the inside out!

Spice works nice: When it comes to spice, our feeling at FreeBird is go for it. It’s probably because our chicken tastes fantastic with such a wide variety of flavors. Same goes for chicken soup! Bring on the heat, adding Thai chilies, jalapenos or cayenne to create a soup with your favorite ethnic angle. Ginger, lemongrass and garlic can also perfume soups so that they cut right through the fiercest of colds. Brightening soups with a squeeze of citrus–lemon, lime or orange–adds flavor and another dose of vitamin C that you could certainly use right about now.

Bag it: Suppose it’s a quiet Saturday and you’re actually feeling better than ever. Now’s the time to do yourself a favor and break out all of your favorite ingredients to prepare that chicken soup of your childhood to stash away for more troubling times. No skimping this time! Start by preparing a fresh stock from chicken bones or an 8-piece FreeBird. When that’s all done, simmer in your favorite ingredients and ladle yourself a piping hot bowl. Then, let the remainder cool and ladle into plastic baggies in portions of 2-4 depending on your household. Freeze (double bagged) until the next sniffle surfaces!