Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup

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When Jay and I started planning our move to the states the first query from friends and family was about healthcare.  As in how were we going to tackle the starkly different system.  After our voyage home for the holidays, the plane ride left me with a burst blood vessel which turned into a painful but run of the mill ear infection that landed us in an NYC emerge late last Thursday night.  Now I should preface my detailing of our first healthcare encounter with that Jay and I are crazy fortunate to have spectacular health coverage through his company, which makes all the difference.

photoThe hospital and doctors were of similar quality to back home.  As far as atmosphere goes it was nice to have a private room to wait in rather than a curtained off quadrant of  bustling emergency department.  We did note a shorter wait time and an extra level of thoughtfulness on part of the  staff as they spent a touch more time with us that we have been used to.   To cement this feeling of extreme attention to care we even got a call the next day from Columbia health to check on us because the hospital had taken the time to call them to inform them one of their students was in the evening prior. However, the true free nature of the Canadian system is hard to beat, and the fact that it is universally free for every member of our society is not only wonderful but admirable.  The real concerns come for Americans who don’t have access to health care and can’t afford private coverage, which I think is where the heart of the debate truly lies.

At the end of the day the hospital in our neighborhood was great and we left well cared for.  Besides, the hospital even had a twitter account and they favorited my lobby room waiting tweet. So the way I see it is that is winning no matter how you swing it.

As for now, I am on the mend but Jay has picked up the flu complete with fever and chills. So in our household we are waiting out this snow storm by taking the time to nurture ourselves back to health by with a good books, a stream of Frasier episodes, hot baths and nutritious eats.  This is a healthy twist of a classic get well soon chicken soup.  If you are vegan or vegetarian you can simple skip the chicken and it will remaining equally as scrumptious and nutritious.  This is a hearty, savory filling meal that is perfect for a cold winters day or any time that you are feeling a little under the weather.  Enjoy.

  Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp of basil
  • 2 tsp of oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of thyme
  • 2 tsp of ground or fresh minced ginger
  • 1/4 tsp of red chili flakes
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 5 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 yam
  • half cauliflower
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 cup of snap peas
  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes (I use a can of the diced and Fire Roasted with Green Chilis from Trader Joes)

Directions

  1. Minced the garlic and add to a large soup pot.
  2. Add the basil, oregano, thyme, ginger and chili flakes to the pot.
  3. Diced the chicken into bite sized pieces and add to the soup.  Add a touch of water and sauté the chicken in the herbs and garlic.
  4. Chop the yam into small, bite sized and add them to the soup and continue sautéing the vegetables and chicken.
  5. Chop the cauliflower, carrots, parsnips and snap peas into small, bite sized and add them to the soup after you chop each one and continue sautéing the vegetables and chicken.
  6. Add the broth and bring entire soup to a roaring boil.
  7. Reduce the soup to simmer and simmer for 20 minutes or until the yams are tender.
  8. Add the diced tomatoes and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  9. Remove from the heat, cool and serve.
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