Thursday, February 3, 2011

Groundhogs Lie and Chicken Noodle Soup

Punxsutawney Phil claims we should be having an early spring this year but by the amount of snow, sleet and ice gathered round me, I think that hog needs a new profession. This weather has truly been atrocious and I can NOT stand it one second longer.

In addition to being extremely inconvenient for travel, the sheer number of people sneezing and coughing from cold viruses is wrecking havoc on my mental state as they all seem to want to sit near me at work and on public transportation. Have I ever mentioned that I have an extreme case of germaphobia? I have little bottles of antibacterial gels, sprays and packets of wipes stashed everywhere. At any given time if under attack, I can whip out my arsenal 'Clint Eastwood style' to defend my turf.

Sometimes more extreme measures are necessary. For example, if someone sneezes, I hold my breath until I'm blue because those insidious germs can travel at least 6 feet. I never touch handrails, I use my sleeve or a napkin to open doors, and when I go to the supermarket I'm fully aware that I'm taking my life into my hands by touching the handlebars.Therefore I navigate with my elbows. Not an easy feat.

My husband thinks I'm nuts when I chase after him with an antibacterial wipe. He's a man. They don't get it.

It may seem crazy to you but it's really simple common sense- If I get sick, the kids get sick, they stay out of school, I have to stay home, I have to take time off from work and my paycheck goes down, the home goes to crap, and who's going to cook? See what I mean? Mayhem.

Since neither I nor my family can consume inordinate amounts of vitamin C, I have taken other preventative measures by cooking meals designed to ward off winter colds. I've been making this version of soup for years, and absolutely love it above traditional chicken noodle soup recipes. Voila!

Vivianne's Version of Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup is chock filled with vitamins and antioxidants. Eat a bowl of this soup and you may see an improvement in upper respiratory tract infections, including stuffy nose, cough, and a sore throat.The veggies act as an anti- inflammatory mechanism to help control the production and spread of congestion-causing white blood cells. Isn't that what your mother always said?

In a large saucepan, saute the pre- seasoned chicken in olive oil and butter until just slightly brown.

Add onion, celery, carrots, green pepper, garlic and saute for 5 minutes.

Add flour, basil, and oregano. Stir until blended.

Gradually add broth, butternut squash and tomato sauce.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Return to a boil, stir in pasta, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes until pasta is tender.

Now say sayunara to those germs!

Vivianne's Version of Chicken Noodle Soup


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and preseasoned to taste
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 15 baby carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup butternut squash
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/2 jar Ragu Chunky Garden Tomato sauce
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Yield: 9 servings (about 2 quarts).

(Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.)


  1. That sounds wonderful! I have all the ingredients, so may make some this weekend! Thanks!

  2. Yum - you are obviously a much better cook than I am, but maybe I'll give it a try! Btw, I've been out of the loop for a while, but I love the new look!!



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