Don’t Hate Me: I LOVE January and February!

“Soup is cozy.” ― A.D. Posey

Oh, I know there are some of you who cannot even comprehend loving the first 2 months of the year.  I know I’m not an anomaly because I have one sister who feels the same way. And yes, we live in Illinois.  I’m kind of like a baby who has her days and nights mixed up. I’m nearly giddy as I take down the Christmas decorations and ready my house for the first 2 months of the year.  And I am seriously done with summer by July 5.

I love the first snow…and the second and the third.  I love being stuck in my house while ice builds up on the roads.  I’m always hoping for a blizzard, enough snow that would shut down the whole town.  One year I got a phone call on an icy Monday morning that my dentist appointment was being canceled.  I told the gal, “I have been waiting for this phone call my whole life!” (my candy-loving sisters and I used to erase our dentist appointments off our mom’s calendar when we were little…those were the pre-novocaine days- YIKES!).

I keep a well- stocked kitchen so I don’t have to prevail upon the grocery store to stock up for weekend weather. I keep candles at the ready and flashlights easily accessible, with batteries of course.  The 3rd weekend in January was just such a weekend.  My first thought upon waking was what I would wear to keep warm and how I would position our furniture in front of the fireplace if the electricity went out.  It felt like Christmas morning! Seriously, does anyone else think like that? How about this? Does anyone think about a nice hot bowl of soup in winter? C’mon….even if you don’t like the cold and ice, is there anything better than hot soup on a winter day?

So, in honor of “my most wonderful time of the year” and National Soup Day, which was February 4, here’s some information for you about soup.  And as it turns out, soup isn’t only cozy, it also happens to be good for you. Check this out:


SOUP WARMS US UP

When you eat hot soup your warm blood rises to the surface and shares it with the rest of your body. That’s why you get that nice warm feeling over a bowl of soup.


SOUP IS EASILY DIGESTED

Soft vegetables and pre-cooked soft, meat makes for a great meal that is easily digested.  This makes soup the perfect meal for when you’re not feeling well. Rather than working to digest a big meal, your body can concentrate on healing.


SOUP IS NUTRITIOUS

Meat, vegetables, and herbs: all a great combination for feeding your body right down to the cellular level along with plenty of fiber.


SOUP IS HYDRATING

We spend a lot of time indoors with our heat turned up in the winter. This can be dehydrating.  Soup is a great way to get more fluids.


SOUP IS FILLING

If you’re trying to lose weight in the New Year, soup is a great way to set you on the road to success.  Broth-based soups are generally low calorie and quite filling.

Here’s a recipe to get you started!


Chicken Soup

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • 1 cup zucchini (cut into 1/4 inch slices)

  • 1 cup yellow squash (cut into 1/4 inch slices)

  • ½ cup onion coarsely chopped

  • 2 stalks celery (thinly sliced)

  • 2 cloves minced garlic

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 3 chicken breasts, shredded (cooked- see below)

  • 1 teaspoon oregano (dried)

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

  • 2 limes

  • 1 piece avocado (Sliced)


-Brush chicken w/avocado oil, sprinkle w/garlic salt and pepper and bake for 1 hour (or until cooked thru) at 350 degrees. Shred the chicken once it’s cooled. You can cook this the night before.

-Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the yellow squash, zucchini, celery, garlic, and onion. Stir the ingredients occasionally until they start to soften.

-Add chicken broth and allow the mixture to boil. Turn the heat down and add the shredded chicken, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.

-Cover the stew and allow it to simmer over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.

-Ladle soup into bowls. Squeeze lime juice into each bowl.

-Top with chopped avocado and serve.

Mmmmm- enjoy!