When you aren’t feeling well, simple things sound best: soup, soup, and more soup. Comfort food becomes a way of life, and the weekly menu tends to be filled with just those things.
I have just turned out the lights and pulled the covers up to my chin. My head throbs lightly, and I swallow past the pain of a swollen throat. Burrowed down beneath the warm, white flannel sheets, my body releases the tension of a long day. I exhale into my covers, the warmth of the breath circling my face and sending me deeper into dreamland.
Through the door, across the hall, and through another door I hear the rasping coughs. One, two, three. A shaky breath. Then again they return with a whimper.
I pull in a deep breath that I feel expand all the way to my stomach, gathering up the strength to turn off the warm covers to the cold, encapsulating night. My bare feet hit the wood floor and pad across the hall, the floorboards right in the middle squeaking as I cross to my boys’ room. There in his oval bed, my youngest lies in a restless sleep, his blankets twisted around his small form, one foot hanging over the edge of the bed. As I watch, he flips again to his side, further twisting the soft green blanket around his body.
Slowly, I untangle the mess of blanket, as I offer him a sip of water from his thermos that sits next to his bed. His eyes still closed, long lashes resting over his silky skin, he drinks and readjusts as I pull unending corners from under his too warm body. He snuggles back into his pillow, and I tuck the blanket under his chin before turning back to the hallway.
Diagnoses: Pneumonia, ear infections, conjunctivitis. Dear Winter, you are officially asked to leave. You have overstayed your welcome and are no longer wanted in these parts. We need fresh air, and your frigid temperatures are not playing nice. Please gather your things and exit the premises, closing the door behind you.
Monday – Roast Chicken with Quinoa, Clementine, and Pomegranate Stuffed Squash
Tuesday – Rice and Spinach Tomato Soup
Wednesday – Chicken and Noodles
Thursday – Brussels Sprouts Breakfast Hash
Friday – Chicken Fried Rice
The Preparation Shortcuts:
1. Use one large roaster chicken or, if you have a large family, two fryers for the first meal of the week. This will give you more leftover meat for use on Wednesday and Friday.
2. Make stock from the leftover chicken pieces and vegetables after your first meal. Use this to support your soup habit throughout the week.
3. Make a large batch of rice to use for both the tomato soup on Tuesday and the fried rice on Friday.
4. In addition to Brussels sprouts in your breakfast hash, you can add any leftover spinach you might have for extra iron and antioxidants.
I’m writing over at Food Fanatic this week and sharing a spinach and rice tomato soup recipe. It’s a new site dedicated to bringing you the best in recipes you want to eat, and I’m excited to be a part of it. I have leftover tomato soup in my freezer, so it made the menu again for this week. I just freeze the tomato soup before adding in the fresh greens and rice, and when it’s time for dinner, I heat it up and add in the fresh ingredients that make it a soup worthy of meal status. Goat cheese slice is optional, but as are most things I say are optional, it is highly recommended.