Grilled Chicken and Spaetzle Soup

When I’m not feeling well I’m a bit pathetic.   I’m unabashedly whiney as I lie on the couch and feel sorry for myself.

*sob* “My teeeaaa cup is emptyyy.”

“I don’t feeeeelll good.”   *sob*

*sob* “I’m dyyyyinggg.   Don’t forget to brush your teeth when I’m gone.”

It’s really quite a treat for everyone around, don’t you think?  It’s over-the-top self-pity taken to the highest level, and the boys treat it as such.  They know I’m not feeling well, and they know that I know I’m being ridiculous.

Nothing is better than soup when you’re dying, though,  and damn if my kids can’t cook.  Bless them.

Jake came up with this simple twist on chicken soup last week when I was at death’s door.  It took him about twenty minutes to prepare (and then simmering time) because he used grilled chicken we had in the freezer.   Chicken grilled with a little salt and pepper adds such a terrific flavor to recipes, and when we grill we often do an enormous batch of salt and pepper chicken to freeze and use later.  While it has a lot of flavor, it doesn’t clash with other seasonings, and so it gets thrown into soups, quick Italian dishes, paella……

This big pot of soup fed four of us and was GONE.   So simple and flavorful, it saved my life.

Grilled Chicken and Spaetzle Soup

onion – 1 large sweet or Vidalia , chopped

carrots – 4 large , chopped or cut into thin coins

celery – 2  stalks, chopped

grilled chicken breasts – 2-3 large , chopped.

chicken stock or low-sodium broth – 8 cups .

spaetzle – 2 boxes ready-made . This can usually be found in the ethnic foods section.   I love homemade spaetzle, but boxed works really well for soups.  My grocery store stocks the Maggi brand, in 10.5 oz boxes.

olive oil – about a 1 second pour

salt and fresh ground black pepper – please don’t use pre-ground pepper.  Why would you do that?  Stop it.

–In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat, then add onions. Saute for 5 minutes until onions begin to turn translucent, and then add celery and carrots.  Continue to saute and stir for another few minutes.

–Add stock, and bring to a simmer.

– Add spaetzle, chicken and salt and pepper to taste.  Lots and lots of pepper!  At lowest simmer possible, continue to cook for about 25-30 minutes.

When one is lying on the couch, dying, just a bowl of soup is lovely.  But if one were NOT dying and could sit upright at a table like a normal person, this would be great with a simple spinach salad and a good fruity beer.


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