Why did the chicken cross the road? To avoid fowl play and escape the stewpot, of course. No such luck today. November 12 is National Chicken Soup for the Soul Day!
It’s also National Pizza With Everything (Except Anchovies) Day. Two cleverly named food holidays, both of them promising tasty dinners. We had us a real dilemma deciding which one to celebrate. Seeing that it’s a weekday our initial thought was ordering a pizza with everything except anchovies, but we’ve already gone the pizza route twice, while few soups have popped up on the menu. There was split pea soup a few days ago, of course. But other than that, just turkey neck soup, way back in March. Chowders and bisques don’t count. Considering that nothing satisfies on a cool, crisp autumn evening like a bowl of piping hot soup, this turned out to be a pretty easy decision, after all.
Chicken Soup For The Soul is the name of a series of popular inspirational books first published in 1993. The name was chosen because chicken soup is a popular home remedy for the sick, and is therefore good for the body – while the inspirational stories within are meant to be good for the soul. This is one of the few food holidays with corporate sponsorship; Chicken Soup For The Soul Enterprises, Inc. pushed for the holiday as a means to celebrate eating chicken soup as well as “who you are, where you’ve been, where you’re going and who you will be thankful to when you get there.” Which almost makes me want to roll my eyes, but I am thankful for chicken soup, so I’ll check my cynicism at the door.
Chicken soup has been enjoyed by many cultures for hundreds of years. In Colonial America, chickens were mainly raised for their eggs; when hens grew old, their meat was stringy, and they were considered too tough for roasting, so they were used in soup instead. Chicken noodle soup is a popular variation in the U.S., but almost never came to be: Campbell’s was preparing to discontinue its “chicken with noodles soup” due to poor sales when an announcer slipped up during a live commercial airing during The Amos and Andy Show and referred to it as “chicken noodle soup.” This simple mistake generated a ton of interest, and people wrote letters to Campbell’s asking about the new flavor. It has been one of their top-sellers ever since. Chicken soup has long been associated as a cure for the common cold, and a 2000 study by the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha actually found anti-inflammatory properties in chicken soup, which means eating it while sick could hypothetically lead to a reduction in symptoms, lending credence to what many had considered an old wive’s tale.
To celebrate, Tara made chicken noodle soup. From scratch. Including the noodles. How impressive is that? This is a creamy version that was a childhood favorite; she hadn’t had it in roughly 2o years. Until this past Saturday night, when her mom Tracy made it for us. It was so delicious, we decided to take advantage of the holiday and have it again today. Absolutely yummy!
- Chicken Noodle Soup (piquantpixie.wordpress.com)
- 10 Delicious Ways to Make Chicken Soup – Recipes from The Kitchn (thekitchn.com)