Saturday, November 17, 2007

Get Well Soup

I've been making this soup when people are sick with a cold or the flu for so long that I can't remember when I started. Chicken rice soup is what my Mom used to make for us and a good friend makes chicken noodle to take to sick friends, but my version uses potatoes...appropriate for a lass of Irish heritage I guess.

I remember one time when my daughter was in college. She was really miserable with the flu and had no energy to cook or even go find a restaurant with soup. I drove three and a half miles up to her college and made her a big pot of this soup, bringing the ingredients with me and leaving her more, and the recipe, in case she needed to make another batch. She said she started feeling better very soon after I made the soup, so maybe it's the soup and maybe it's the TLC.

This past week Sweetie has been down with the flu, so I made him some. I used some of our autunm jewels, the late harvest heirloom tomatoes that had been sitting on the counter.

He is starting to feel better, but it will be a few more days before he has his energy back and probably longer before the cough goes away. Guess we should have been more alert to when the flu shots were being given.

This is a great soup to make for a friend or loved one, but also delicious to enjoy yourself on a cool autumn evening for supper. I served it with a green salad and some warm, crusty cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet.

Get Well Chicken Soup
Serves 4 - 6

1 small to medium onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced (use more if you like)
1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
1 cup thinly sliced celery
2 cans chicken broth or 2 cups home made broth
1.5 - 2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (leave unpeeled if you wish)
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped or 1 can already cut tomatoes
2 chicken breasts, cut into bit sized dice
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup frozen peas

In large soup pot, heat grape seed or canola oil until hot (olive oil is not great to use where the temperature will be hot enough to saute') add the onion and garlic and saute' a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Watch to make sure the garlic doesn't burn.

Add the celery and stir to coat with oil, then lower heat to medium and cook 2 minutes.

Add the broth, potatoes, tomatoes, chicken pieces, rosemary, thyme, and pepper. Stir well, cover, and bring to a simmer. Simmer about a half hour, until the potatoes are fork tender.

Remove from heat and stir in the peas. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Uncover and serve after tasting for seasoning and making corrections if necessary.


  1. Just discovered your blog, and had to smile when I read this post. Chicken soup is the classic "get well" food of all time. But not everyone drives over 3 hours to make it and feed it to a child. Your family is very lucky to have a woman with enough TLC to heal them all! (And the skills to make such a delicious soup!)

  2. Elle, this soup looks truly comforty! Anyone who is sick should get a bowl of this!

  3. Anonymous8:26 AM


    You don't have to make a believer out of me! I already am one! Soup has the power to make you feel so much better. Your version with potatoes looks amazing!

  4. Oh Elle, I wish you lived closer! Although I made soup myself this weekend, nothing beats soup made for you by someone who knows what she is doing and is doing that to comfort you.

  5. I'm not sick...but I can fake it to get some soup!

  6. Toni, Thanks for the kind words. I love to cook for others, but that trip to college was sort of unusual.

    Anh, Thanks...let's hope we don't need it anytime soon. :)

    Ivonne, Is it the soup or the nurturing that goes into making it?Either way, glad you like my version.

    Baking Soda, Wish I lived closer, too. Hope that doesn't mean you are sick.

    Peabody, I'd brng you some if I were in Seattle. No plans at the moment to be in that lovely city, but the time may come.

  7. Anonymous9:12 PM

    Elle, I think it's the love you put into it that makes everyone feel better :)

  8. Or, you know, the fact that chicken fat raises the white blood cell count, for some reason. ;)

    Fabulous soup, and 'bout the only reason that I'd have chicken in the house.

  9. I'm sure this would help anyone get better, it looks so comforting and delicious.

  10. I love chicken soup and we always have it with potatoes too! It is truly the best thing in the world to have when you're feeling poorly or even when it's just plain cold and rainy outside - like today!

  11. I'd pretend to be sick if you'd make me some of that! Looks fantastic!


  12. Elle -- sorry to hear that Sweetie's been sick!!! Give him my get well soon thoughts. Hope we can get together before the end of the year! I'm still enjoying the bounty you gave me at our last meeting!

  13. Maryanne,I always put a little love in what I cook :)

    Davimack,It's the chicken fat? Who knew. Think of the soup as medicine and the chicken part won't bother you too much.

    Kelly-Jane,Yes, comfort food at it's finest.

    Amanda,Sure, Stormy Weather Soup works too...with some Billie Holliday on the side.

    Lis, So I get to wear a cute nurse's hat, too? You stay well and just enjoy the soup!

  14. Whether you're sick or not, there is nothing like a hearty bowl of steaming hot chicken soup. My grandma always put potatoes and tomatoes in her soup too. It was the best thing ever!