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I’m guessing that you’ve already noticed, but the weather down here in Cleveland, Tennessee has getting cold. Today, in particular, it’s a pretty gloomy day:
And while my daughter and I have both done really well since school started back up in August, it looks like the common cold has finally hit us this week.
No complaining here — this is the first winter I can remember where we haven’t already needed antibiotics for coughs that wouldn’t ease up. Even so, nobody likes to catch a cold. Therefore I’ve been doing my best to keep us both comfy and cozy at home.
In all honesty? I’ve ordered groceries from Publix through Instacart three times this weekend. Not a shining moment for me personally since I keep forgetting certain ingredients, but it’s pretty nice to know we’ve got good neighbors out there shopping and facing the cold for those of us who can’t.
What have I been making?
Two simple and satisfying dishes my kid and I call our “get well soups,” and I thought I’d share them with the rest of you.
Both of these recipes are more like suggestions because I don’t measure much of anything — if at all. And they vary according to whatever I’ve got on hand. (Or remembered to order from Publix.)
First up, there’s Veggie Turkey.
Veggie Turkey Soup
- Zucchini and/or yellow summer squash
- Ground turkey
- Chicken or turkey broth
- Sea salt
I first began making this soup years before I became a mom, but recently, I was pleasantly surprised to see my kid loves it too.
Making it is super simple. Get out a soup pot — any size will do if you keep in mind that you’re going to make a full pot of soup. So, grab a large soup pot if you want to make a lot, or a small one if you only want a little.
- Chop the veggies. Plan to fill the pot (nearly full) with your favorite vegetables. I use red onion, rainbow carrots, “dinosaur” kale, and summer squash (yellow and green). If I’m in a hurry, I like to grab Publix’s pre-sliced bag of zucchini and thyme.
- Add as much garlic and ginger as you like. Since this is a “get well” soup, I like at least 5 cloves of chopped or pressed garlic. And for a big pot of soup, I use a thumb-sized bit of ginger. Just scrape the ginger peel off with the back of your spoon and mince it finely.
- Add just enough broth to meet the to level of the veggies in the pot. This, in my opinion, is the most important part of the whole thing. The flavor of the soup comes from the wonderful veggies, and summer squash releases a lot of its own water. You don’t want to water down the soup, so put in just enough broth to boil the veggies until they’re tender. I probably only boil the pot for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey. Seriously, this is so simple, folks. Just put the ground turkey on top of the boiled veggies, and use a wooden spoon to break the meat up. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup until the turkey is cooked through, and well-mixed throughout the pot.
Voila! Really, it’s done. Add salt and any other seasoning you desire. Serve the soup warm with toast. It’s my daughter’s favorite way to eat veggies.
Creamy Chicken and Rice
- Cooked rice
- Heavy cream
- All-purpose flour
- Chopped rotisserie chicken
- Chicken broth
- Sea salt
This one takes a teensy bit more work, but it’s so worth it! And it’s still such a super simple meal. Once again, fill up any size pot that you like. It's loosely inspired by the AMAZING chicken and rice soup at Jenkin's Deli on Spring Creek Boulevard, but this one adds a good amount of vegetables.
- Chop the veggies and dump them into your pot. Sprinkle with tarragon and garlic as desired.
- Set the heat to medium and add enough butter to cook the vegetables until they’re tender. I made a smallish pot (about 3 quarts) and used at least 3 Tablespoons of butter.
- Add some flour to thicken and mix well. For a smallish pot, I use about 2 Tablespoons. A larger pot might take 1/4 to 1/3 cup flour. The butter and flour will form a paste. Stir the paste and let it cook for a few minutes.
- Add some chicken broth. For a small pot, I start with just 1 cup. You can add more as you go to get the consistency you want.
- Add your heavy cream. This is a very creamy soup, so add a pint for a smaller pot. Stir the cream well.
- Add your rice and chopped chicken. Again, this is your soup, so you add as little or as much as you like.
- Stir, taste for seasoning and consistency. If you want the soup to be thinner, add more broth. Add salt, pepper and more seasonings as desired. Serve warm.
So, that’s it!
These are the soups my kid and I have been feasting on all weekend. And it’s really not such a bad way to pass the time in such dreary winter weather— along with streaming Dinosaurs on Disney+.