We all know chicken soup is the meal of choice when you need something nurturing and restorative. (This article has some reasons why.) It’s what you make for someone who’s sick. And if you are sick – and you eat meat – it’s hard to get something better.
Which is why I made chicken soup for myself this weekend.
To clarify, I’m not full-out sick. I probably wouldn’t be up for cooking if I was.
But after a work trip last week, which included a red-eye flight home from California on Wednesday, I was definitely feeling run-down. I had gotten to the borderland between sickness and wellness.
You may know the place, where you throat is a little scratchy, you’re tired despite sleeping for hours, maybe you’re starting to sneeze. You still have a chance of pulling back from illness, but it’s not certain.
Plus, after a few days of eating a combination of fancy conference food and packaged airport food, I wanted something homey and comforting. Which brings me to the chicken soup.
But it occurred to me how easy it would be not to make the effort. After all, I could buy it instead. I could even get it fresh-made at Whole Foods. Wouldn’t that be simpler?
Simpler, yes. But would it be better?
And what would it be saying if I was willing to make soup for someone else – but not for me?
Don’t I care about myself enough to give myself the same attention I would to someone else I loved?
And making it isn’t hard, especially if you buy pre-cooked chicken like I did. It’s just a matter of chopping some things, adding them to a big pot, simmering, and stirring.
Plus, as an added bonus, your whole house smells like spices and garlic and broth. It’s very comforting.
Oh, and I also like that I get to pick what veggies I want to add, so mine has spinach as well as the traditional onion and celery, and sweet potatoes instead of carrots.
Overall, if you’re feeling on that edge of coming down with something, I recommend making yourself a big batch of soup, and maybe taking a bath and drinking tea. After all, you deserve it.