Someone asked me this week why I love my 30s so much. I had a lot to say about that. But I think Ann Quindlen really said it,
“Failure is so terrifying to the young. So is
unpredictability. They’re afraid they’ll get it
wrong. You have to use cookbooks for a long
time before you realize that you can leave out
the beans, throw in some tomatoes, substitute
rosemary for basil, jettison the formula, try
something different. Sometimes the
improvisation is better than the original recipe,
sometimes just as good and sometimes you pour
it down the disposal and make a nice fettuccine
Alfredo, which never hurt anyone.”
So, I know I’m still young and I’m not saying that failure doesn’t still bring a tinge of terror. But I’ve noticed that caring so much about failing and being someone the world wants me to be, or my unrealistic vision of who I want to be, seems to be losing weight. Like I’ve put it on a diet. To be honest, I’m not trying just to make it less weighty, I’m trying to starve it right out.
Aging helps. Sitting in the failure for a bit and accepting the lessons it has for you helps too.
I’ve made a mess of failures in the kitchen. The first one seemed catastrophic and it made me so frustrated. All that time in the kitchen. All that food wasted. That first failure of a meal went straight into the trash. Beau grabbed my hand and showed me how to laugh about it. And we ordered pizza.
Failing in the kitchen is small compared to some of the things our days hold. But I think failure feels like failure without distinction.
I still stretch out my arms and grab for cookbooks when I feel unsure about what I’m doing. Just like I still reach out quick and sure for the Lord when I’m stepping into something that feels infinitely bigger than me.
So, reaching out helps too.
This soup. I was sure this soup was going to be a failure. My first time with zoodles.
And, actually, my first time making chicken soup. My first time making homemade chicken broth too.
I warned Beau to have the pizza guy on standby.
But this soup came out a gem. Both our hearts were aching a little the first time I made this. We were both tired from long days at work and we were in that haze that comes with changing seasons.
Big heaping spoonfuls of the warm, salty broth soothed throats and coated hearts. The chicken made it hearty and the zoodles made it fun. We went back for seconds. Each time our smiles a little repaired. Our hearts starting to bloom again, open up.
I made it twice this week. I took a batch over to a friend who called and was sad, sad, sad. She took one look at the soup and said, “Oh, this will help.”
If you don’t have a spiral vegetable slicer, you can get one here on amazon. This thing is so fun, super easy to clean up and comes with a variety of blades.
But if you don’t want another kitchen tool, do you have a julienne peeler? You can make zoodles with that! Just lay the zucchini down and pull the peeler over the top of the zucchini, down the whole length of it. Repeat until you have a heap of zoodles!
I hope your week is filled with a little bit of letting go, a healthy perspective on failure, and arms that are standing at attention, ready to reach out and grab what you need: a cookbook, a hug, a lifeline. Or Jesus. He’s the best to reach out for because He’s already there, reaching out for you too.
Comforting Chicken Zoodle Soup Recipe
So first we start with our mirepoix. This word is French and it means a roughly chopped vegetable medley that is the base for soups, stews, stocks and sauces. The main characters: carrots, onions, celery:
You use mirepoix all the time even if you didn’t know that term! You can tuck that in your pocket for cocktail parties. Life of the party right there 😉
After we sauté and let the aroma wrap us up we add chicken. I use shredded chicken from my roast that I used to make homemade broth with:
Then we add the broth and while it is all simmering in the soup pot I create zoodles.
You can make zoodles with this spiral vegetable slicer. I use it all the time to turn vegetables into noodles or for salads. I have a recipe coming next week that uses sweet potato noodles. It is yummy! So get your vegetable slicer and some sweet potatoes.
Throw the zoodles into the soup and simmer for 5-10 minutes more.
This recipe, so easy. One pot wonder and unbelievably comforting.
A Comforting Chicken Zoodle Soup Recipe
- 1 TBS coconut oil (or olive oil)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt (and more if needed)
- 1/2 tsp pepper (more if needed)
- 2–3 cups shredded, cooked chicken (I pull mine off a store bought roasted chicken and save the carcass for homemade broth)
- 6 cups chicken broth or stock
- 2 zucchinis (for zucchini noodles)
- Heat a soup pot on medium heat with the coconut oil. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic and sauté for five minutes or until the onions start to become translucent but not browned.
- Add the shredded chicken, oregano, salt and pepper and stir to coat the chicken and veggies with the seasonings. Add the chicken broth and top with the sprigs of thyme and bay leaf.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
- While this is simmering prepare your zoodles. Make them with your spiral vegetable slicer or with a julienne peeler.
- Add the zoodles and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed (this all depends on if your chicken broth was salted or not).
- Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf and enjoy!
We have this soup as leftovers the next day. I was curious about the zoodles being soggy or mushy but they weren’t! Still delicious.