A couple of weeks ago, I woke up at 3:30 am, dispairing that I did not have any free-range, organic, local chicken soup to feed my two sons, who had just fallen to winter colds and coughs. We had been to the local grocery store the night before to stock up on cough syrup, homeopathic cold remedies, etc.. I had had a civil argument (I hope it appeared civil to the other grocery store shoppers) with my youngest child about why I refused to buy a canned version of chicken soup (even organic) there.
The end point was, he felt I couldn’t ‘prove’ that conventional cans of chicken soup had bits of chicken in it that were from just a few consolidated agri-business operations because I hadn’t talked to the companies myself. My point was, that I didn’t need to have had the conversations, because there are plenty of watchdogs out there (and very eloquent ones at that, like Michael Pollan) that either had talked to them, or had investigated records on them that proved it. And besides, I was the mom.
Arguments not withstanding, I still felt I had short-changed my kids when I just felt too tired to put together something when we got home. Thus the wake up at 3:30 am. Then I remembered that I had already taken out some chicken bones and leftovers from a roasted chicken from Countryside Farm (at the Austin Farmers’ Market) to prepare just a simple soup for the season (pre-cold symptoms). I factored in that I really needed to go back to sleep, so I put the bones on low with a pot of water and figured in two hours that it would be a very nice soup stock, guilt absolved.
Waking to chicken broth aroma in the morning, it just took a few more minutes to take out the bones and get some really local, organic, free-range chicken bits back in, along with fresh herbs, broccoli, carrots, onion, and chard back in for a truly delicious cold-banishing soup. I’ve since made another pot with another batch of chicken bones that were thrown into the freezer at an earlier time.
One chef once told me that there’s a reason that doctors and nurses prescribe chicken soup (as it used to be) for a cold. The marrow from the bones and the gelatin are aids to digestion, and the added vegetables are definitely antioxidants.