My High Priestess, Courtney, made me this soup when I was living at her apartment in Inwood and got pretty sick. I'd stressed myself out preparing for an important interview for a job which I didn't end up getting, and was missing Sean because he was still working in Florida while I was searching for jobs up here. I was also probably doing too much energy work and prosperity magick without grounding myself properly and recharging, which I have a tendency to do when I'm desperate for something to happen.
I highly recommend this soup for any time because it's delicious, but it has a specific set of ingredients which will boost a weak immune system, help sooth a sore throat, and prevent scurvy, if you happen to be a pirate. It is decidedly not vegetarian, but I'm sure if you're clever with your substitutions, you can make it just as healthy and tasty without the use of chicken and chicken broth.
Since my husband and I just had the flu really bad a couple of weeks ago, I decided to make it for us and our roommate Adam, and I changed it just a teeny bit to accommodate our fridge.
4 cups chicken stock (we boiled the Samhain chicken carcass and used the broth from this. SO YUM!)
2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced or crushed in a press
1 bunch Swiss chard (kale is also good and has lots of vitamin C as well),
2 tomatoes, chopped (or one 16 oz. can)
1 jalapeno, finely diced
3 celery stalks, slice-chopped (or use 1 tbsp celery seeds, this is mainly for the savory flavor)
a handful of baby carrots or 1 large carrot, slice-chopped
half a box of whole wheat pasta- elbows, penne, fusilli, really whatever shape you like
the juice of one lime
sea salt and lots of pepper, to taste
water to cover
First, how to get chicken stock from a chicken. Most of you will know this already, but I didn't until I actually saw it done, and now I'm certain it's the only way to go!
Put a fairly stripped whole chicken carcass in a pot and cover it with water. Bring to a boil, then lower the temp to a rolling boil. Check it every hour or so, adding more water as needed, for at least 4 hours, more if you have the time. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to separate the chicken parts, and throw the rest of the carcass away. When you're done you should have about 4 cups of stock. The stock will be oily and yellow, and it won't smell nearly as good as it tastes. You can freeze it for up to a month in tupperware, or use it immediately. It's not good refrigerated for more than a day or two.
In a large stockpot, cook the chopped chicken breasts in a little stock (if you have frozen the chicken stock, the fat will rise to the top and you can skim off a bit of that to cook the chicken breasts with. Class!). I like to season the chicken with pepper at this stage, but not sea salt just yet. Salting at this point will make the chicken dry. Add the garlic and onion to very lightly brown them. Then add the chicken stock, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and jalapeno. Add water to cover and bring to a rolling boil.
You want to make sure that the carrots and celery get just cooked enough so that they're not crunchy, yet not soft- but remember that the longer you cook something, the less whole nutrients it retains. Set a timer for about 20 minutes and then check a carrot. If it's close to being done, you're good to finish it off by adding the chard or kale, the juice of the lime, and the pasta. NOW you can add the sea salt, and any other spices you like, to taste. I put a bit of dill in pretty much everything, and if it's not spicy enough, some cayenne pepper will do the trick. Continue boiling until the pasta is just done, and joyfully serve! This soup actually goes really well with tortilla chips- paired with the jalapeno and lime you've got chicken tortilla soup!