Friday, February 26, 2016

ST. CONSTANCE, ST. DOMINIC, AND CHICKEN VEGETABLE SOUP Lent Madness 2016 Saintly Sprinkles Three & Four



I’m combining Lent Madness 2016 Saintly Sprinkles Three and Four because the nurse and the “difficult patient” seem to go together. (For further study, check out St. Constance and Her Companions and St. Dominic of Osma from my archives.)

St. Constance and her Companions became the Martyrs of Memphis in the sacrifice of their health to stay and care for those stricken by Yellow Fever because, as she wrote in a letter to her mother superior, “cases that are nursed seldom die.” In other words, they were literally saving lives with every night’s sleep abandoned and every meal skipped.

Not that there was an abundance of food available -- “The calls for food and wine are incessant.” If only people outside the stricken city delivered wholesome soup along with the mail.

In honor of St. Constance and her Companions, cook this soup to store in the freezer as a reserve in your own caretaking, to gift to someone in need, or to enjoy by the hearth with those you love.

But what if the recipient of your caretaking has dietary restrictions or no great love of food?

St. Dominic enjoyed the rigors of walking along difficult roads as a form of penance, ate little food, and preferred praying over sleeping. So when he visited the Order’s hospices, the sister nurses doted over him, but they could never get him to eat anything more than an extra egg, a bowl of porridge, or maybe a cup of broth once in a while.

In honor of St. Dominic, devote yourself to the practice of caring for someone in the most healthful way that suits them. For example, a version of this soup without chicken for the vegetarian, or a version with just broth, noodles, and eggs for the one who needs easy-to-digest meals due to illness.  

INGREDIENTS

1 - 32 oz box Organic Chicken broth 
1 - 32 oz box Organic Vegetable broth 
(Or 64 oz of homemade chicken\vegetable broth)
About 3 cups water
1 ½ pounds organic chicken (2 or 3 skinless breasts, or 4 or 5 boneless skinless thighs or leftover cooked chicken)
1 - 12 oz can whole, stewed, or diced tomatoes (or 12 oz of garden fresh tomatoes, seeded and skinned)
3 large leaves of kale, shredded
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium squash, sliced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3 or 4 carrots, sliced
3 or 4 celery stalks, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced 
Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

 1. In a large pot, combine chicken stock, vegetable stock, and water. Place over high heat.
 2. Add whole pieces of chicken.
 3. Add tomatoes. If using whole tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces.
 4. Shred kale by hand into bite-size pieces. Add to pot.
 5. Add zucchini, squash, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper.
 6. Boil until chicken is cooked through. 
 7. Remove chicken and cut into bite-size pieces. Return to pot.

 8. Simmer, uncovered, for about two hours.
 9. Ladle into bowls and serve with nice, fresh bread.

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