This past month, on a typical wintery Sunday in New York, I was on the way to go grocery shopping for my family when I decided to make chicken soup — the kind that includes a whole bunch of fresh seasonal vegetables. This time of year, when the weather’s still chilly but signs of spring are appearing, I love the flavors and textures of carrots, rutabaga, leeks, and cabbage.
It’s been said that chicken soup contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent a cold’s miserable side effects. We also add beans (which my family loves) for a little protein boost. So there’s a ton of nutritional value in this soup.
When I got home from shopping, I pulled out the slow cooker and put on some music. I chose a playlist my wife had suggested I put together for our daughter (including hits from the ‘70s up through my grunge phase) to introduce her to the kind of music we’ve enjoyed for so many years. As I was prepping the dish and listening to my classic rock, I started thinking, how many people really know how to make a simple classic chicken soup?
It’s hard to imagine being a new home cook these days. With the internet and TV shows suggesting we cook this or that new and exciting dish, I’m sure many are discouraged and even turned off by trying to learn the basics. You can’t just roast a chicken anymore — you have to rub it in this spice, have your butcher cut it this way, baste it this number of times, and so on. Chicken soup could take forever!
So I decided to put together this recipe, which only requires a slow cooker and a few minutes of hands-on cooking, to show how to make a simple chicken soup that is not only healthful, but also delicious. If desired, you can add a package of egg noodles as well.
Finally, having a great playlist can make all the difference. Cooking should be fun! Spotify has been one of my go-to music programs and made it easy for me to put together this great family-friendly playlist.
This story was originally published on April 2, 2015.