One of the things that I love most about food is how it is so woven in to our sense of self. Food is not just something we eat, for many of us it is so much more than that. Every bite has a memory attached, whether it be the smell, the texture, the taste. Even when you try something new, there’s a chance for it to become part of your personal narrative.
I’ll forever attach the smell of frying an onion in butter with visiting my grandmother as a kid, when she would make us risotto. One bite and I’m a child again, drooling over that happy bright yellow rice dusted with parmesan cheese, flattening it out on my plate and eating from the outside in to avoid burning my tongue.
Even the softer, gentler sensations, like the smell of fresh pasta dough will conjure memories of making lasagna with my mum and sisters.
This soup… it brings back some memories.
Mr. Nomato and I had only been dating for a couple of weeks. Everything was exciting and new and wonderful. The sun was brighter, the air was fresher, the birds sung louder even in the middle of winter… you get the picture.
And then I got a cold. I was a disaster. It was the kind of cold that crawls up into your sinuses and settles there for a good long while, the weight of it making your head ache. For a couple of days, all I could do was sleep and not sleep, alternately wrapped in my duvet and tossing it off because I was too hot and too cold at the same time.
The last thing I wanted was to see my new boyfriend and then sneeze on him. I’m pretty sure that’s like… rule #1 in every dating self-help book, emblazoned on the inside cover. DO NOT INFECT YOUR NEW BOYFRIEND WITH ACUTE VIRAL NASOPHARYNGITIS.
Mr Nomato didn’t care at all. He made me soup. FROM SCRATCH. I’m pretty sure I fell in love with him right then and there, my knight in shining armour, braving the dangerous plague lair to bring me a bowl of warm chicken noodle soup.
I swear it was the best soup I have ever eaten in my entire life, bar none. Never mind that I was off my tree on cold meds, or that if you had fed me anything else I wouldn’t have been able to taste it. It was like… I don’t even know. Metaphors are not enough to describe how amazing that tupperware of soup was.
Since then I’ve been trying to recreate that soup. Of course Mr. Nomato didn’t write down the recipe, or remember where he got it from. Knowing him he probably made half of it up anyway!
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to recreate it exactly, but this soup is pretty darn close. And it’s easy!
Seriously. Chop all your veggies into bite sized pieces, and toss them in a pot with some butter on the bottom. Let them cook a bit until they’re soft and brown, releasing all the flavours. Add the chicken, rice and broth. Don’t forget the herbs and spices!
Bring it to a boil, and then let it simmer for 40 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.
It’s that easy.
And that hard.
Because it will smell so incredibly divine that you’ll want to just dive into it with a spoon!
AND if you’re like me and often have veggies sitting in the back of your fridge that you had honourable intentions for but just never got around to it and they’re in serious danger of going round the bend and you just want to throw your hands up in defeat, this is the perfect recipe to use them up!
…if they last that long!
What are your favourite food memories? Anything special that you’ll never ever forget? For a good reason – OR a bad one! I want to hear them!
- 1 tbsp margarine, butter or coconut oil
- 2 large carrots
- 2 large stocks of celery
- 1 onion
- 1 cup shredded roasted chicken (http://halifaxbloggers.ca/isaynomato/italian-herb-roasted-chicken/)
- ½ cup rice
- 5-6 cups of chicken stock (http://halifaxbloggers.ca/isaynomato/homemade-chicken-stock/) or vegetable broth (http://halifaxbloggers.ca/isaynomato/easy-homemade-vegetable-broth/)
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- dash each salt, pepper, thyme and oregano to taste
- Chop all the vegetables and chicken into bite size pieces.
- In a large stockpot, melt the butter and add the carrots, celery and onion. Cook until the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chicken, rice, broth and herbs to the stockpot. Stir a couple times.
- Bring the soup to a boil, and then turn it down to simmer on low heat for 40 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and soft.