Posted by: Rachel | September 25, 2010

back to basics

Chicken soup, that’s what I want. I have a sore throat and a stuffy nose (whine whine) and I want soup even if it is still really too hot outside.

I don’t want plain old chicken soup, though. I want something with a little substance, a little kick that I can taste! Something fast and easy, that will make me feel better and not make me feel like an invalid. And something that will last for a few days, since I’m feeling lazy. So, I’m going to gussie up some of the stock I have in the freezer and I think I feel better already. Of course, that’s partly because I feel so righteous having all that nice stock to use…

I’m not going to do this the hard way. While I’m all in favor of everything fresh and local, I want soup *now*! So, here’s my thought process (followed by, of course, what I actually did).

Tomatoes are supposed to be high in vitamin C and vitamin C is supposed to be good for getting rid of colds. And, I like tomatoes. There are a couple of cans in the pantry, always, and a can of corn for both texture and bulk as well as a can of black beans because I love them and they are creamy. I don’t want anything scratchy, that’s for sure.

I don’t want it to be too hot or spicy, but I do want to enjoy the soup. I think I’ll go with my go-to 7 spice and some extra cumin. And, some fresh chopped cilantro on top because I’m one of the lucky ones.

I say lucky because I have friends and family members who can’t stand cilantro. It tastes like soap to them, and makes anything it is used in taste basically awful. I like it though, so I deem myself lucky because it goes well with tomatoes and everything else on the boards at the moment. And it adds a freshness that brightens the soup nicely.

Other than that, I think a bit of thyme will be nice. I have both lemon and English in the garden and they both make chicken happier. Oh and some fresh lime juice to jazz it up at the end, especially as the Mexican limes (Key limes) are ready to pick form my trees. OK, now I’m getting hungry and I’m feeling better already!

Here’s what I did more precisely:

Tomato Chicken Soup

pot of soup

wish you could smell it.... wish *I* could smell it!

1 onion, chopped
olive oil
1 T 7-spice*
1 tsp cumin
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can whole-kernel corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 C chicken stock
3 good sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
fresh cilantro if it suits you

In a large heavy Dutch oven, sauteé the onion in the olive oil. Once the onion is translucent, add the spices and mix well. Add all other ingredients and stir well. Simmer for 1 hour partially covered, remove the thyme stems. Serve yourself a bit right *now* with some fresh cilantro chopped and tossed on top, and chill the rest to be reheated and enjoyed tomorrow and the next day until the cold gives up.

* 7-spice seems to be a “my grandmother made it this way” blend but, roughly, it is a mixture of cinnamon, cardamon, black pepper, allspice, cumin, coriander, and love… If anyone can be more specific on this topic I’d appreciate it!

MMmmmm… I feel better already! Stay well and bon appetit!



  1. I brought the same bug home with me and I’ve been eating chicken soup, too: Campbell’s. I’m sorry I couldn’t eat your soup, it sounds so much better. Let’s both get better fast.

    • Hope you’re over it by now. I have a little bit of a cough, but I can taste stuff again, so I’m happy! (Its the little things… :-))
      Soup, soup, glorious soup,
      nothing quite like it for killing the croup…

      No, that *can’t* be right. Hmmm… 🙂

  2. Hey Rachel…sorry you’ve been under the weather. Hope your tasty sounding soup made you feel better.

    • Thanks for the kind thoughts. This must be a new personal best for short-duration colds. I really do feel a *ton* better and I think it must’ve been the soup 🙂

  3. This sounds delicious. I definitely must try. I am glad you are feeling better too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: