Monday I was feeling pretty puny. I blogged about it on Tuesday, how Papa Chris came home and took care of the attachlings so that I could rest. That was heaven….the chance to just give in to the tiredness and climb into bed in the middle of the day.

The other thing that really helped me recover quickly was the soup. Weeks and weeks ago I made a bean soup with barley and carrots and peas and chicken stock. I froze it in small butter bowls for later use. I’m usually the only one who will eat these soups, so when I make a crockpot full of goodness, I just freeze it.

Yesterday I decided to make up some more. This stuff is gold, not just for puny days, but for really cold and/or really busy days. The convenience of canned soup, but homemade and without yucky chemicals and preservatives.

This is where $2 and an onion comes in to the story. Since we are primarily vegetarian at home, I don’t roast a chicken very often…in fact not at all since we moved in July. And I really, really do not like to buy chemicalized and preservative-filled stock from the store.

So I pick up a $2 package of chicken legs at Trader Joe’s. I get the big ole’ electric dutch oven ready with olive oil…and then I chop up the onion. There is something so awesome about the smell of onion meeting hot olive oil. And then there’s garlic…olfactory heaven.

Once those ingredients become both translucent and carmelized, I add in the chicken legs. I put a lid on the concoction and come back from time to time to turn the legs, making sure that all sides become carmelized.

While this is happening, I’m prepping carrots and some broccoli stalks (which I always put in a bag in the fridge for just such a dish)…and then in they go. Once the carrots are tender enough to slice, I bring them out, add several cups of water and put the lid back on. Carrots are sliced and put back in. At regular intervals, more water is added, brought to a boil each time, and then allowed to simmer.

At this time I took out the chicken legs, which were thoroughly cooked and had done a wonderful job of providing all the yummy goodness of the stock. Sometimes I take the meat off the bones and chop it up to be placed back in the soup. Sometimes I set them aside for lunches of their own.

This time I decided not to make bean soup, just carrots and rice in chicken stock. So the mixture was transferred to the crockpot and uncooked rice added. After an hour or so of cooking, the soup was done.

After it cooled, I started the ritual of ladling soup into small butter bowls for freezing. I saved some out for the present, of course, but will be so grateful for these golden bowls of nutrition if/when I am feeling puny. Mostly likely, they’ll come out when I’m just cold and hungry. Either way…such bliss.

hoping for yummy, homemade goodness to your family,
Mary

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