In January it’s so nice, while slipping on the sliding ice,

To sip hot chicken soup with rice.

Slipping once, sipping twice, sipping chicken soup with rice.

In February it will be my snowman’s anniversary,

With cake for him and soup for me!

Happy once, happy twice, happy chicken soup with rice.

In March the wind blows down the door and spill my soup upon the floor.

It laps it up and roars for more.

Blowing once, blowing twice, blowing chicken soup with rice.

In April I will go away, to far-off Spain or old Bombay,

And dream about hot soup all day.
Oh my once, oh my twice, oh my chicken soup with rice….

Visiting my Grandparents as a child, I often remember a collection of books that they had saved out just for us. One of my all time favorites was this little book by Maurice Sendak. Having not thought about it for the past 20 years or so, I was surprised to have the memory come back so vividly while cooking dinner a few nights ago. After I recovered from my nostalgic journey, I sat there trying to think what had rekindled this particular memory. There was the obvious: I was indeed cooking chicken soup that night, but I wondered why it had never come to mind the many times I’d had the soup before. The conclusion? I realized that I had never once made chicken soup. However, as Trevor was starting to come down with the flu, it seemed to be the perfect dish.

1 Whole chicken (quartered)
4-5 Carrots, cut into bit-sized pieces
3 ribs of celery, diced
4-5 tomatoes, diced
3 Cloves garlic, smashed
1 Lemon (squeezed)
handful of parsley
1 t. thyme
1/2t. cayenne pepper (just enough to help with the ol’ sinuses for flu victims)
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 lb. pasta, cooked and drained (can sub out rice, barley, or a combo)

In a large stock pot, throw in the chicken, carrots, celery, ‘matoes, lemon, and seasonings and cover 2-3″ with water. Bring to a boil and then turn down the stove to med-low for 1hr 15min. Fish out the chicken (salad tongs work really well), and allow to cool. De-meat the chicken (recommended tool – clean hands), piecing it into strips and return the meat to the pot. Add the pasta, check for seasonings, and you’re set to go!***

***Tip: As one of the best times to consume this dish is while under-the-weather, and I never seem to want to do anything while sick, it’s really smart to freeze or can this soup for future rainy days.