My Cape Cod Kitchen: The Kindness of Friends and Chicken Noodle Soup

Linda Maria Steele

Linda Maria Steele

“You will be blessed the moment you realize you already are”. ~ Bryant McGill

There is a section in my book that I called “Creating Community through Sharing of Food.” I wrote a magazine article years ago with a similar title and I wanted to include it in my book because it’s not only about how good a recipe turns out, but also the kindness and goodwill that the making and sharing of that food can bring to someone else.
After 10 years of living on the Cape year ’round I have come to realize it’s the summers when we have the most fun, yet it’s the year-’round living when we really rely on the goodwill of our friends.

On the recent storm I woke slightly worried about how I was going to get my driveway cleared. While I made morning coffee and pulled back the curtain to look outside, I realized we got a lot of snow. My daughter was planning to head back to college later that day. I started to I find myself in slight panic mode when a friend who has a plow on his truck called to ask if I needed help with my driveway.
“Yes!” I said. “I have a fresh pot of coffee brewing, cranberry biscotti in the oven and Chicken Soup on the stove. Come in when you’re done.”

A pot of chicken soup is a perfect winter meal

A pot of chicken soup is a perfect winter meal

I had started cooking first thing that morning because not only was I happy to still have power after a significant storm, I wanted to send my daughter back to school with some provisions.
“I’ll be right over”, he replied. That was a blessing.
Having a large pot of chicken soup on the stove reminds me of my grandmother’s house when we were kids. My sisters and I would spend the night and she’d have chicken noodle soup for us to eat. Today soup makes my house warm and smell inviting. It’s good to make on a Sunday afternoon and then have it to warm up throughout the week with a grilled cheese sandwich or in a thermos for lunch. We love it with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese and finely crushed saltine crackers.
My friend stayed for a while to catch up after the snow was cleared. I gave him a container of soup to take with him for later that day. I realized how blessed I was by the simple act of kindness of a caring friend.
Here’s a super easy and satisfying recipe for a flavorful, fresh and hearty version of chicken noodle soup for you to try. If you feel like it, have the ingredients on hand just in case another snow storm hits.
Happy Cooking!

Chicken Noodle & Thyme Soup
Ingredients

2 Tbsp. olive oil, extra virgin

Sautee the vegetables

Sautee the vegetables

1 medium onion, diced fine

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 carrots, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

6 cups Chicken stock

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into small bite size pieces

8 ounces dried pasta of choice (I like large macaroni)

4 sprigs fresh thyme (If you only have dried herbs, that will do yet the flavors and aromas are so much better when using fresh)

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. pepper

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

1) In a large heavy saucepan, heat oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute while stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until onions soften. Add the carrots and celery and cook for an additional two minutes. Then add the stock, thyme, bay leaf and black pepper and bring to boil.
2) Reduce heat to medium low and add the chicken breasts. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through with no signs of pink. Additional water (a cup or so) if needed depending on how stew-like or broth-like you prefer your soup.
3) Remove the springs of thyme and bay leaf and discard. Return the pan to low heat.
4) Cook the pasta according to directions, add to the soup and simmer for an additional five minutes.
5) Just before serving stir in the fresh lemon zest and juice. Use additional pepper if desired.

— By Linda Maria Steele

Linda Maria Steele is a Teacher, writer and baker who lives in Falmouth. She adores Cape Cod and enjoys cooking good food to share with friends and family. Steele is also Adjunct Faculty at Mass. Maritime Academy in the Humanities Department. She is the author of “Meet me in My Cape Cod Kitchen: Recipes for Seaside Living” and hopes to inspire readers to more creativity and community through cooking. 

Comments

  1. Nancy Frary says:

    Linda, I look forward to your recipes and your writing each week. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your culinary expertise!

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