Food for thought

The heat is turned on in the residence halls and outside the temperature is falling into the 30s at night. With wintertime comes flu season. The flu shot may not be an option, so simply do what moms have always told their children – make some chicken soup.

Chicken is easily recycled from other dishes. When using a whole chicken in the soup, use some of the leftover chicken for a pulled chicken sandwich or chicken salad. The same thing goes for chicken wings or breasts of chicken. Or if there is leftover chicken from a previous dish (something that does not have a strong seasoning like barbecue or honey mustard) add that to the soup. This easy recipe is nourishing and can sit all day because the cooking time is very flexible depending on how much time you have. No hard laboring, just add the ingredients and wait for it to cook. For those who are more health conscious, leave the soup in the refrigerator overnight. Take it out and before re-heating it, and skim the fat off of the top with a spoon. This will also give it a better taste.

1 medium onion
2- 3 large carrots (peeled and sliced, or 15-20 baby carrots)
2- 3 long stalks of celery (with the tops)
2 lbs chicken (whole chicken cleaned out, or wings or breasts)
1 parsnip (whole)
1- 2 chicken bullion cubes (follow instructions on jar for preparation)
Spices to taste: Mrs. Dash, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper or another favorite spice or spices

Add all ingredients to a large pot. Fill the pot 2/3 of the way with water. Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for about one hour. The amount of time it takes the soup to boil depends on how high the heat is set and how much chicken is in the pot. The cooking time can be sped up or slowed down depending on how high the heat is. To make a more complete meal, add Matzo balls, rice or noodles. Make sure to cook these separately from the soup, however, so they do not absorb too much soup.

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