While writing this, I am enveloped by the aromas of chicken broth, oregano and garlic. It takes me back to the smells of home … Mom’s home.
My dear husband is having a bad week. Not only did he get laid off, but they gave him a bonus by sending him off with a cold that was going around. So, the only thing I know to do is what mom did, take care of him with food. A pot of chicken soup is simmering on the stove.
The comforting scent surrounds me like a warm hug, as if Mom’s here pampering me. I rest in these paradox of feelings that range from grateful, to longing for simpler times.
I subscribe to, and have been published in the magazine Angels on Earth. They usually put one recipe in each issue. One of those quarterly recipes called my name, because not only was it chicken soup, which I love, but it was shared by an Italian family. Its ingredients reminded me of something my own Italian family might make.
I’ve made this countless times since. On the days I don’t have all the ingredients it calls for, I modify. Like today, I didn’t have celery or all dark meat. So, I used a half of chicken instead of thighs or legs, and zucchini in place of celery.
Capizzi Chicken Soup
8 chicken legs, or 5 thighs with skin
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 chicken bouillon cubes
3 cups tomato sauce (I cut this in half and use 1 ½ cups. It’s too tomato-ish otherwise)
1 cup chicken broth (I usually add an extra cup because broth evaporates when heating it as leftovers)
garlic, chopped or minced to taste (I use 2 medium cloves)
ground pepper to taste
oregano to taste
1 pound orzo noodles (I used half box for two of us and save the rest of the box to make with leftovers)
1 cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese
Fill large pot with water (I use 8 cups) and add chicken.
Once water boils, lower heat and boil 30 minutes.
Skim chicken fat.
Add carrots, celery, bouillon cubes, minced garlic, tomato sauce, broth and seasonings.
Simmer 30 minutes.
Remove chicken and shred off bone.
Return meat to pot.
Cook the orzo in another pot.
Scoop orzo into a bowl and ladle soup over it.
Sprinkle with cheese.
P.S. I wrote this over the weekend. Husband is feeling better. Future employment looks good. Had one offer and goes on one more interview tomorrow. Continue with the good thoughts and prayers, and thank you to all who sent their warm wishes.