With tomorrow St. Patrick’s Day, I fully intended to post about my preparations for a lovely Irish meal tomorrow. I wrote a similar post last year, and had a few wonderful meals. Those plans were set until I began struggling with a late winter cold yesterday afternoon. When I woke up this morning coughing and sneezing, the only food on my mind, in fact one of the only things on my mind, is chicken soup.

I make a lot of soup during the late fall and winter, and normally chicken soup is part of the mix along with various bean and vegetable soups. Somehow this winter has slipped by without a single pot of homemade chicken soup on my stove. Well that’s going to be remedied today. In a few hours I’ll be heading up to the grocery to pick up a key ingredients for my homemade chicken soup.

I tend not to follow recipes when making soups, and just add what sounds tasty to me at the time. I make chicken soup in a variety of ways, but think today it’ll be a fairly simple, basic recipe, keeping in mind that I’m not feeling all that wonderful. I’ll pick up a whole chicken, and add it to a mix of low sodium prepared chicken broth and water, along with a few seasonings (probably some black pepper and a “no-salt” mixture, and perhaps some herbs if any spring to mind). I’ll also add a chopped up celery stalk, a minced onion, and a diced carrot or two. I’ll let all of that simmer for an hour or so, until the chicken is soft and falling off the bone, and the vegetables have given the broth a nice flavor.

At that point I’ll strain the broth and put it back in the pan. I’ll cut some nice chunks of chicken meat and add them back to the broth. If I don’t have enough chicken left at this point, I’ll chop up another chicken breast or two and add them to the broth. Then, I’ll dice some plain vegetables: celery, onion, carrots are key and add them to the broth. When I’m feeling healthy, and more adventurous, I’ll usually add some diced tomatoes and chopped rutabaga to the broth. I’ll also normally add hot sauce of some type. Once in awhile I’ll add a bit of rice or some noodles or homemade dumplings, but they tend to overwhelm the soup, particularly when I reheat it for leftovers the next day. Today I’m thinking the real basic soup is what I want; just comfort.

Do you ever make chicken soup (and I’m not talking out of a jar or can)? If so, what are your go-to ingredients? And if the chicken soup really is a cure, perhaps tomorrow I’ll feel up to another store run for the makings of a lovely St. Patrick’s Day meal — I’d been debating between making either Guinness Stew or corned beef cooked with Guinness.

Happy Saturday, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow!

–LinnieGayl