Curative Chicken Soup

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There is a reason "chicken soup for the soul" is a cliché. When made with good ingredients and from scratch (especially with homemade broth), it's the most comforting and curative thing.

For that reason, I turn to this recipe for most any ailment, from a head cold to the Sunday blues (a serious condition). Garlic, lemon juice, fresh ginger, tender poached chicken, and a few thin chili slices provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and soothing flavors to bring your body back into balance. Whether I'm feeling under the weather or just trying to warm up on a damp winter's day, this revitalizing chicken soup always hits the spot. 

Curative Chicken Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped, plus leaves, roughly chopped

1 onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

6 cups broth

2 chicken breasts

1/2 cup orzo

1 tablespoons lemon juice

Hot chiles for garnish (optional)

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables just begin to soften, 5 minutes. Add broth and chicken breasts. Bring to a boil; reduce and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 20-25 minutes.

Remove chicken from stockpot. Using two forks, shred chicken into large pieces. Return to pot. Stir in orzo. Simmer until orzo is cooked, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, ladle into bowls, garnish with sliced chili, and serve immediately. Alternatively, refrigerate up to 4 days. 

Serve 6-8