The first day of autumn has come and gone. On the windows of every drug store are signs reminding shoppers to stop by and get their flu shots. TV news doctors are extolling the virtues of getting your flu shots early in the season. And, so it goes this time of the year.
Since I was a little girl many, many years ago in Brooklyn if someone in the neighborhood came down with a really bad cold or a case of the flu by the end of the day a neighbor would knock on the door and present you with a pot of chicken soup.
I have passed this tradition forward over the years. Whenever someone in my old neighborhood in Virginia was felled by those nasty little flu and cold bugs I would immediately head to the grocery store and spend a few hours in my kitchen putting a pot of chicken soup together.
Now, you could ask, “Is feeling better after eating chicken soup psychosomatic or physical”. Who knows! I just know that doctors for many years have been debating the healing powers of chicken soup and for the most part doctors agree it can’t hurt.
This recipe can be made in just a few hours and is light, tasty and packed with chunks of chicken, carrots, onions and rice. It has become a staple in my home and a few containers are always at the ready in my freezer. Try it and taste for yourself you will be glad you did.
Mrs. Nisco’s Chicken Soup:
- 6-8 cups water
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 chicken breasts (skin and bone on)
Bring to boil; cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove chicken from broth. Place chicken in refrigerator to cool while adding vegetables. (If I use really large chicken breasts I will add extra water).
- 3 medium carrots cut up
- 3 small onions diced
(I chop my onion very fine in a food processor because I don’t really like to eat onions but really like the flavor it brings to a recipe) Weird right?
(I pull the chicken off the bone and then cut into smaller pieces.)
Cook another 10 to15 minutes.
I live in Florida now and am still bringing chicken soup to my neighbors and they love it. Just this week a neighbor returned from surgery and had a few dietary limitations so off to the store I went and by the end of the day was delivering my favorite elixir to she and her husband. A few days later Marvin came to the door to return my bowl and said, “The soup was delicious and Elaine wants the recipe”.
I have tried many recipes over the years but by far this is the best one. I was very fortunate to have lived in a neighborhood and belonged to a church that were so supportive and caring when someone was sick. So, after I returned home from the hospital back in the eighties one of my favorite neighbors, Janice Nisco, brought this particular chicken soup to my front door. I have been making this recipe ever since to the delight of my family, friends and neighbors.