I’ve had a hankering for soup. Some kind of warm my bones, my spirits, and my heart soup. It needed tomatoes. And rice. Definitely chicken. And a sprinkling of Parmesan. Because nothing ups my downs like melted cheese.
I often find comfort in the kitchen. Cooking smells and steam and a soapy sink soothe just about whatever ails me. And sometimes, I just need to reassure myself that normalcy exists. Yesterday, I found some solid ground in the chopping of vegetables and the boiling of rice.
You should know: This is not a real recipe. It’s a use-what-you-have and add some leftovers kind of thing. Comfort Soup’s best when it’s free-flying and relaxed – all the parts simmering together into one warming and delicious whole.
So here’s what I did:
- Soft boil some chicken in a quart of chicken stock for 30 minutes. I used boneless, skinless thighs.
- Cover and set aside for another 30 minutes while you hunt for and gather whatever else looks good.
- I sauteed some leftover stir-fry veggies (summer squash, broccoli, and onions) in a tablespoon of vegetable oil until just soft. I also shook a bit of oregano and garlic powder in the mix. Oh. The. Smells.
- I found a large can of diced tomatoes and a can of corn in the pantry.
- That’s when I noticed the box of rice pilaf. I didn’t hesitate or question this choice. I felt inspired. And may have told myself I was brilliant. Prepare the rice according to the directions on the box.
- Bring your chicken and stock back to the burner on low. Shred the chicken (which is oh-so-tender by now) with two dinner forks. Add about a cup and a half of water (I used the empty corn can.)
- Here’s the fun part: in no particular order – slip all that stuff you’ve found in with the chicken and stir gently. Add some salt. Ground pepper. Heat until warm enough …
To melt the cheese you sprinkle on top.