Have you every heard of ‘grief bacon”? No? Me either. But I now know what it is. Because it is this month’s theme for LETS LUNCH What do you want when you feel down? Blue? Is there a special food?

I head for for the jar of Peanut Butter. Or the bag of M&Ms. I seldom make something for me when I am feeling blue. But if I just need something to ‘warm’ my soul I head for soup Not just any soup. Chicken Noodle Soup. Not decadent. Not soothing necessarily. But comforting. I remember sharing a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup with Mom. Cold days. Rainy days. Chicken Noodle Soup.


The recipe I used this time was based on a DASH recipe. Trying to eat a little better for our health brought me to this one. Comforting. Healthy. Delicious. And I served a nice hunk of Country Bread on the side. Bread = comfort food!

    1 chicken (about 3 pounds) skinned and seperated, or 4 chicken quarters, skinned
    8 cups water
    2 onions, halved, the inner layer of skin left on
    3 carrots, chopped
    3 celery stalks, chopped
    1 bouquet garni
    4 black peppercorns
    1 teaspoon salt
    4 ounces spaghetti or linguine, broken into 2-inch pieces
    1 carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
    1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
    1 cup frozen corn, thawed
    1/2 cup barley
    1/3 cup yellow lentils
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
    2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

First make the stock. Put the chicken parts in a large, heavy-based stockpot or saucepan. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, then pour in about 8 cups cold water to cover the ingredients. Bring to the boil, skimming the surface constantly until all gray scum is removed. {You could use store bought as long as it’s low sodium – even veggie stock}

Reduce the heat to low immediately after the liquid boils. Add the bouquet garni, peppercorns, and I teaspoon salt. Partially cover the pan and simmer for I hour, skimming as necessary. Test the chicken joints after 30-40 minutes; remove them as soon as the juices run clear when the joints are pierced with the point of a knife. Set aside. Salt and pepper to taste.

Line a large colander or sieve with dampened cheesecloth and place it over a large heatproof bowl, then strain the stock through this. Discard the vegetables and flavoring ingredients. Return stock to the cleaned pan. Skim off any excess fat on the surface of the stock. Cool and freeze the leftover stock to use as a chicken .stock in other recipes.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard all the bones. Cut 112 pound meat into bite-size pieces for use in the soup. Reserve the remaining chicken for sandwiches or other recipes.

Bring the stock to the boil, then reduce the heat so the stock is simmering. Add the spaghetti or linguine and the carrot, and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the celery and corn, lentils, and continue cooking until the pasta and all the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. I cooked the barley separately because it takes about an hour to cook.

Stir in the chicken with seasoning to taste and heat through. Sprinkle in the parsley and thyme, and serve the soup at once.

I added the barley and lentils to the recipe. You could even add quinoa. And any nice other veggie would be nice, too. Broccoli, squash, navy beans.

I also find making my own pasta very comforting so I made whole wheat noodles for the soup.


I’ll post that recipe later.

What did the other members bring to lunch? You can find a round up on Rebecca’s blog. She was our host this month.