Sunshine Orange Chicken Soup

from Tamara Butts Sullivan

Though it doesn’t quite feel like it these days, winter has arrived. Almost everyone I know either has a cold, just had a cold or feels like they might be getting one. It seems like the right time to offer the recipe for my nearly famous chicken soup. It’s delightfully orange and full of good nutrition that might help you ward off the next virus you meet. It’s a two-stage process that takes care of your dinner meal plan for two days.

Day One – Roasted Chicken Dinner

Roast a chicken for dinner. Get one much bigger than you need for your family. Both Trader Joe’s and Wholefoods have pretty tasty organic choices. As one of your sides, roast some butternut squash (halved, seeded, baked face down with a little water until soft). Again, more than you need to feed the family. When the chicken is done, drain off all the lovely juice, strain, and put in the refrigerator overnight. Enjoy your dinner and then pick all the leftover meat from the chicken and refrigerate along with the leftover squash.

Day Two – Soup Day

Onion – 1 large or 2 small
Drippings from chicken
Carrots, 2 or 3 – cut up however you like
Leftover chicken, chopped
Organic Red Lentils – two handfuls
Curry powder
Potatoes – 2 large (or leftover mashed)
Roasted Butternut Squash
Cheddar cheese (optional)

1. Dice onions and slice or dice carrots. Sauté both in a soup pot with olive oil. Add a couple teaspoons of curry powder and the same amount of salt. When the onions become translucent, add one teapot full of water.

2. Scrape the white fat from the top of the refrigerated drippings and discard. I call what remains the ‘Jelly Puck’ for obvious reasons. Drop it in the soup.

3. Add the potatoes (diced or leftover mash), butternut, lentils, and chopped cold chicken.

4. Simmer until all the veggies are soft. I periodically mash it with my potato masher, which seems to make it thicker. It also serves to confuse the children because they can’t tell what’s squash or carrot, so they just eat it.

5. Before serving you will probably need to adjust the spices, which is code for add more salt. Top with grated cheddar if you like.