Molly’s Musings

Chicken Soup does soothe the soul

by Molly Young 

Chicken noodle soup for the soul. It’s a bit cliché. But, I discovered, completely true.

My friend was sick last Wednesday. He was miserable: he could hardly talk or breathe during our short conversation that day.

I told my roommate, who quickly quipped, “Let’s make him some chicken noodle soup.”

Homemade chicken noodle soup, we hoped, cured any sickness.

Four hours and $14 worth of groceries later – we redeemed a coupon for a free rotisserie chicken – we gathered the ingredients. Noodles, carrots, onions, celery, broth, chicken and spices covered the countertops.

We used my grandma’s recipe: a list that called for a pinch of this and a stalk of that. Three carrots. One medium onion. A bay leaf. Heat the broth. Simmer the vegetables. Cook the noodles. And add the chicken.

Soon, the warm, spicy aroma of chicken noodle soup filled our duplex and lingered in the air. For the safety of our friend, or perhaps because the temptation was too strong, we each had a bowlful of steaming soup. The chicken, the vegetables, the noodles – the ingredients combined to fill our stomachs and our hearts. The soup was safe to eat.

We poured the remaining soup into a plastic container, grabbed a baggie of fresh-baked cookies, and drove across Lincoln to our friend’s house.

Our hope was confirmed: the soup – which I thought would surely last a few meals – was gone 15 minutes after walking in the door. A “thank you” came with each bite.

He wasn’t healed instantly; in fact, he didn’t feel fully well until a few days later. The coughs and sneezes were still there. But the misery was gone, dissolved with the last drop of soup.

Chicken noodle soup for the soul. His wasn’t the only spirit lifted that night, either. After a long day of classes, the healing power of carrots, celery and pre-cooked chicken was hard to deny.

Chicken noodle soup soothes the soul, even if it is a cliché.