In the midst of crazy Christmas shopping I found just enough time to read an article that compared today’s Christmas prep to one in 1980. My childhood versus my sons – how different could this be? To keep things interesting, I scribbled down my prepartions list before reading for a true comparison. Um, wow!! First, my Christmas list was shockingly void of 75% of the things I really do (the article reminded me of all the things I had magically or thoughtfully forgot).
I love Christmas, but it is crazy and each year it starts earlier and earlier. This year I scheduled family pictures in August so I would have time to create our holiday card and get them ordered leaving just enough time to address, write a happy note and get them in the mail. Today, my family was in a mall shopping for the Salvation Army Angel Tree and it was a whirlwind of madness. It all reminded me that life goes fast enough and even though I love our advent fun, it was time to slow things down.
So, ‘Soup’er Sunday came to the rescue. Even better, it was a selection of simple, comfortable flavors that warmed us up while slowing us down.
Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- dash of salt
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 very large onion, diced
- (2) 32 oz containers chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups noodles
- Juice of 1 lemon, plus more for serving
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
- Preheat dutch oven, on stove-top to medium high. Saute 1/2 the oil and 1/2 garlic until fragrant, add chicken and sprinkle with spices. Once cooked, shred chicken tenders using two forks. Remove chicken from dutch oven and set aside.
- Heat remaining olive oil in same dutch oven. Add carrots, celery, and onion, and cook – stirring occasionally until vegetables soften. About 8-9 minutes. Add remaining garlic and a pinch of salt and cook for another minute before adding the chicken stock. Deglaze the pan to get all the yummy chicken flavor. Then add bay leaves and water.
- Increase heat to high, bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, stir in noodles, and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Stir in cooked chicken, dill, and lemon juice. Taste soup to adjust seasonings, then serve at once.
Over a bowl of soup we exchanged our favorite mall moments and chatted about what Christopher (our angel) would think of his gifts. Graham threw Goldfish crackers and Rowan ate, what seemed like, a loaf of buttered toast. Heck, I threw some Goldfish to.
We finished the night with baths and stories and prepared for the week. Work and school return, but we were warmed up, slowed down and reminded of the age old advice from my mother’s mother’s mother’s mother – chicken noodle soup cures everything.