Panic Soup For Pandemic Times

Miriam Szokovski

With so much uncertainty and anxiety in the world right now, as things evolve hour by hour, I think it’s fair to say all of us are feeling unsettled to some degree or another. I, for one, have done a fair bit of panicking (some of which somehow resulted in this soup).

This soup will not fix all your problems or make your anxiety evaporate. But it’s warm and comforting and will last all week in the fridge so you can keep coming back to it, until it starts to feel like a familiar old friend (at which point you should probably start socially distancing yourself from it. Also you’ll likely be sick of it by then.)

Everyone shops and stocks their pantry differently. These are ingredients I tend to have on hand, but the recipe is fluid and things can be added, omitted, or substituted.

  • The onion, carrot, and celery create a strong flavor base. Things you could use instead: other types of onions, and root vegetables with strong flavor like parsnip, parsley root, celeriac, etc.
  • Instead of the cabbage you could use kale, collared greens, spinach, or swiss chard.
  • If you use broth, you don’t really need the chicken. If you use water (like I did), the chicken is a good way to amp up the flavor of the broth. But it’s also ok to skip and use neither. There is enough flavor in the rest of the ingredients.
  • The chickpeas can be replaced with other types of beans or legumes.
  • Instead of pasta you could use rice, barley, quinoa, or couscous (but much less. Use 1/2 – 2/3 cup of any of these.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1 large zucchini
  • ¼ small cabbage
  • 1 (28 oz. / 800 gram) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz. / 425 gram) can chickpeas
  • 10 cups water or broth
  • Optional: 4 chicken wings (or 1 full leg)
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 cups pasta (any shape)

Directions

  1. Chop the veggies into bite-size pieces. Put all ingredients except the pasta into a pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for one hour.
  2. Remove the chicken.
  3. Return the soup to a rolling boil and add the pasta. Wait for the soup to return to a boil once the pasta has been added. Then simmer another 20-30 minutes until pasta is cooked.
  4. Remove the chicken bones and skin. Shred the meat and return to the soup.

NOTE: If you use broth, you don’t really need the chicken. If you use water (like I did), the chicken is a good way to increase the flavor of the broth. But it’s also ok to skip and use neither. There is enough flavor in the rest of the ingredients.

NOTE: If you’re not adding the pasta, only use 7-8 cups of water.

Yields: More than expected!

Recipe by Miriam Szokovski