Wellness From the Pantry

I had forgotten just how annoying a cold could be.  All I wanted this afternoon was some nice hot soup but there was a hitch…I wanted homemade soup-not canned soup I’d have to pick all the carrots and celery out of.  Soup is my department so if I wanted soup I had to make it.  Plus, there was a box of defrosted chopped spinach languishing in the refrigerator and it kills me to waste anything.  The following recipe for Wellness Soup was inspired by a peruse through my freezer and pantry and a recipe for Spinach and Chicken Soup posted on About.com.  As I mentioned before I had a box of defrosted spinach. The freezer held a 12 ounce packet of chicken tenders (removed and saved for a future meal from the boneless, skinless chicken I’ve been using) and thumb-sized pieces of peeled ginger root from my failed juicing experiment.  The remaining ingredients were in the pantry.  I enjoyed my soup as made but it would be nice ladled over noodles if desired.

Wellness Soup

1 box (4 cups) low sodium chicken stock

2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

1 thumb sized piece of ginger root (more if it is a particularly mild piece of ginger)

12 ounces chicken tenders (cut into bite-sized pieces)

1 box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Pinch to 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice powder (cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, ginger, cloves)

Salt and pepper to taste (remember you’ve used low sodium chicken stock)

Bring chicken stock, ginger and garlic cloves to a boil in a large soup pot.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Return to a boil and add chicken.  Simmer until chicken is just cooked through.  Add spinach, sugar, soy sauce and Chinese 5 Spice powder.  Simmer until warmed through and garlic cloves are soft and can be smashed to a paste on the side of the pot and stirred in.  Season with salt and adjust other seasonings to taste.  Be well!

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