Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mom's Best Medicine!

Every good recipe starts with a story and here's mine. Like my apple pie (I will share with you come harvest), I cannot take full credit for my chicken soup since I was deeply inspired by my late Mom Barb. I remember her making turkey soup after Thanksgiving & Christmas in the huge pot built into the back burner of our stove. In spite of the amount it yielded, it never lasted long. What a treat to prolong the holidays, even if just twice a year. Well, holidays didn’t occur often enough so Mom decided a smaller bird will work during the rest of the year, holiday or not!

Mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the Spring of 1972. After having a radical mastectomy and undergoing almost 2 yrs. of radiation therapy, she didn't have much energy to prepare regular meals for a family of five, hence the soup. She mastered her recipe over the years and shared it with neighbors and other friends who had also been diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. Mom became kind of known for her soup since it was appealing to those who otherwise had lost their appetites. It must have been pretty potent since she lived another 21 years herself! I was fortunate to have held onto a portion from her very last batch I found tucked away in my freezer. A few months after she passed away, Dad had come down with a bad case of pneumonia while living alone in his now empty and drafty house. With fever and frustration, he looked up at me and said "I wish I had some of your Mom's soup right about now." I teared-up and smiled because I knew Mom was still able to make his wish come true. Nothing made me happier than to nourish his body and soul with Mom's special healing chicken soup. As if that's not magic enough, I added a pinch more.

Now here's the beauty of the story. I've had an opportunity to bring the legacy full circle by sharing it with our old next door neighbor recently diagnosed with Cancer and the wonderful new couple of Dr.s who bought Mom & Dad's old house. Their home isn't drafty anymore!

Ok, here's the secret formula...

Healing Chicken Soup

Not just for colds. Rosemary & collagen are helpful for people suffering side effects from cancer treatment.


1) Cover medium size chicken carcass (some meat intact) with filtered water.

2) Cook on “high” in Crock Pot for 4 hours. Simmer on “Low” for 2 more hours.

3) Remove everything from the stock.

4) Store stock broth overnight in refrigerator.

5) Remove meat from the bones and other non-edibles.

Skim fat from surface of the stock. Filter stock broth through a sieve.

Heat stock in Crock Pot on high and add the following:



Handful (1 ½ cups)


2 cloves (or 1 large clove)


1 small to medium


3 stalks

Basmati Rice

¾ cup

Chicken pieces

1 to 1 ½ cups

Chicken Stock

6 to 8 cups

Organic Vegetable Stock (bullion)

3 to 4 cups


To Taste


To Taste

Organic Oregano

2 Tbsp.

Organic Basil

2 Tbsp.


2 Tbsp.


1 ½ tsp.


1 ½ tsp.

Cinnamon Basil

1 ½ tsp.


1 ½ tsp.

Lemon Thyme

1 ½ tsp.

Tri-Colored Sage

½ tsp.

Garlic Chives

½ tsp.

Bay Leaves

2 Leaves

Cook (on “high”?) for an additional 3 hours, stirring periodically.

Best when served for friends, family & neighbors!


relouis said...

What a great tribute to your mom. Thank you for sharing the recipe - we all seem to be effected by or know someone dealing with the ravages of cancer these days. Anything that can ease their pain or give them comfort is wonderful.

Doc Evans said...

I am especially fortunate because I get to eat this soup frequently!

Leslie Cremeens said...

What a beautiful tribute, Bethane! I will make your Mom's soup, it sounds wonderful and I would love to give it to my family when they need some healing love!