Thursday, April 22, 2010

The patriotic blog...aka Two and a Half Men is a waste of programming space...aka Don't do drugs

The other day I indulged in just about everything.  It was pretty great, but now I'm definitely feeling it. So I decided it would be a good idea to eat something nutritious for a change. Many of my friends are suffering from that spring to summer transition head cold/sinus infection due to allergies, so it seems like a little home remedy might be in order. I would totally recommend Percocet in this situation, but I'm broke and sadly have no chronic injuries to maintain a crippling addiction to pain killers*. So soup it is.

I mean soup cures everything right? cold, cough, crippling addiction to pain killers? and it's tasty!
So I had some leftover roast chicken, because when do I not, but other than that, the soup pantry was lookin' leaner than Mary-Kate, and I needed sustenance.  So I went to the store and picked up some simple soup ingredients.  I love making soup. It's generally pretty cheap, you always have leftovers, and people like soup. Who doesn't like soup? Stupid people, that's who.

Yes, I will admit that some soup recipes (especially those that reckon back to your grandma's soup pot) are generally a little time consuming, and often involve making a lot of things from scratch. Maybe that's why people don't make a lot of soup at home.  Maybe we should remember that we're Americans and we can make anything, or anyone for that matter, work for us and soup shall not be the exception to this rule. So be patriotic and make soup? sure.

On occasion, I have totally turned soup making into a day long process with some damn good results, but....I don't normally have all day to putter around like a geisha and make soup, so normally my soup takes about 45 minutes top to bottom.  It's really pretty easy to get something tasty in that amount of time, if you start with good, fresh ingredients.  You just have to remember that the flavors you pick for a 45 minute soup should be bold and flavorful all on their own.  This is because you are making a sacrifice by not letting your soup simmer away for the entire afternoon. There is something to be said for the flavors that develop with long, slow cooking. But if you don't have the time, put something in the pot that doesn't need to sit and develop to be tasty and interesting.

Making soup could not be done without some sort of broth. I am not OK with the bouillon cube (pretty much just sodium and questionable freeze dried business). I also don't always have time to make my own stock from scratch (it's not hard, it's just another step that I'm not always willing to take when I want soup in my belly NOW). But one thing I will always turn to are those stocks that come in cardboard boxes.  They're actually pretty good, and I always have at least two boxes on hand.  Of course that's so I can make soup any time I want, because soup is good food, but boxed stock is totally a multi-tasker.  I use it instead of water when I make rice, or add it to sauces or vinaigrettes for a boost of flavor, or use it in my sausage gravy for a good old hangover brunch meal. It also comes in a variety of flavors which is nice for the home cook. I usually stick to chicken because it's just easier and goes with everything, but I normally try to pick up the lower sodium variety if I can, because I'd like to control how much salt goes into my food because I am a control freak.

So if you're feeling down and out, or sick and tired, or bored and hungry and you've got 45 minutes, you can totally turn your whole day around, with soup...not painkillers. don't do drugs.

It Won't Change Your Life Because For That You Will Need The Help Of A Licensed Therapist, But You Can Still Make Soup In About 45 Minutes Chicken and Kale Soup with Ginger and Lemon.

1 T Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion roughly chopped
1 large carrot roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 T fresh ginger minced
1 small bunch of parsley roughly chopped (about 3 T worth)
1/2 small bunch of kale (about 4 stalks), washed and roughly chopped
1 tsp salt free seasoning blend of your choice
1 16 oz box of low sodium chicken stock
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 T soy sauce
1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded into large bite-sized pieces
2 chicken sausages (or any kind of sausage for that matter) cut into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat
Add the sausage and cook until done, about 5 or 6 minutes. Remove and set aside
To the same pan, Add the onion, carrot, garlic and ginger. Add a little salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes
Add the seasoning blend, half the parsley and the kale to the pot and saute for another 5 minutes
Salt and pepper again
Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, and lemon juice and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer on low uncovered for 25 minutes.
Add the chicken and sausage to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes or just until the chicken is heated through.  Check for seasoning and salt and pepper to taste.
Add remaining parsley and lemon zest, stir to combine and serve. 

You can also add pasta to the soup for a heartier meal, but just make sure to cook the pasta separately and then add it to the individual soup bowls, instead of cooking it in the pot with the soup because the pasta will sit there and get soggy and absorb all the broth. 

So eat your feelings, but feel good about doing it, because this is healthy, delicious, cheap and easy. See you soon, and make sure to tell a friend about the blog!

Also feel free to leave comments or questions here, or if you want you can email me at and ask a food question, or you can ask how I got to be so smart and funny, but please don't ask why that crappy show Two and Half Men is always on TBS when I want to watch TV...because I do not know the answer to that.

*I do not have a crippling addiction to pain killers. Sorry for any confusion parents, just jokin'!


  1. I'll hire you to make soup all day, but during non soup making time (eg: when I want to eat the soup you are done making) you have to fold up and stay in the wardrobe. Oh, and my cats can live in your pants.

  2. AWWW double-post . . . I lose the internet game