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  • Jennifer Stewart

October Babies

I was recently reminded of a time, 5 years ago, on my almost 38th birthday…when I was pregnant with my son and due at any day. Hoping he would come on my special day or at the least, on my mom’s special day, Halloween. October was and always has been my favorite month of the year and I wanted my first-born son to be born in October too. I remember trying so hard to get him out of there… riding on the John Deere Tractor, taking long walks (in the Texas October heat), bouncing on Yoga Balls and I even tried to attempt spicy foods. Nothing seemed to work. And just like my mom told me when I was born, he wanted his own day. He came 5 days after his due date... In November. And it was after my mom made me chicken noodle soup. The most boring food for a baby to come out after!!!


This really lovely photograph that reminds me of this unforgettable time was taken on our Log Cabin front porch in Texas. On my porch swing. Barefoot. I called it the Redneck Front Porch Picture… because it was. Unfinished, Random boxes everywhere, with Antiques that had gotten wet from the rain and broke, and the wood decking had fallen apart. But I loved it so much. And I miss it even more.





These days I’ve been trying to experiment with some new meal rotations. Since my kids have become extremely picky eaters (They get that from their dad) …and because I’m tired of making the same things!!!! It's chilly and cold here now. Fall has arrived in the Pacific Northwest and I love it. So, in honor of my mother’s chicken noodle soup that helped give birth to my baby boy…, my birthday, my mother’s birthday, and my son’s almost 5th birthday… I want to share a gem of a Chicken and Wild Rice soup that I made this week for my family! Healthy, Happy, and All the things that make us smile.




CHICKEN AND WILD RICE SOUP

By: Gimme Some Oven


· 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

· 1 small white or yellow onion, peeled and diced

· 2 medium carrots, diced

· 2 celery stalks, diced

· 6 cloves garlic, minced

· 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

· 6 cups chicken stock (or veggie stock)

· 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts*

· 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, diced

· 1 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained

· 1 tablespoon finely-chopped fresh rosemary

· 2 bay leaves

· 2 cups plain milk (cow’s milk or plant-based milk)

· 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped

· fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper


INSTRUCTIONS

1. Sauté the veggies. Melt butter or oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots, celery and garlic and sauté for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the flour and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring frequently.

2. Add in the next round of ingredients. Gradually pour in the chicken stock, stirring the soup frequently as you pour so that the clumps of flour can melt into the broth. Add the chicken breasts, mushrooms, wild rice, rosemary, bay leaves and stir to combine.

3. Simmer. Let the soup continue cooking until it reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain the simmer, cover, and cook for 40-45 minutes or until the wild rice is tender — being sure to stir the soup every 5-7 minutes so that the bottom of the pot does not burn.

4. Shred or dice the chicken. Use tongs to carefully transfer the chicken breasts to a clean plate. Then you can either dice or use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and stir it back into the soup.

5. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir in the milk and baby spinach until combined.

6. Season. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Taste and season the soup with however much salt and black pepper you think it needs.

7. Serve. Serve warm and enjoy!



Today I wanted to pair with you one of my favorites. Chris Stapleton. An American Country Artist from Lexington , KY. This guy. You guys… just incredible. Has partnered with all the greats and my husband and I were lucky enough to see him perform in Austin with Willie Nelson. His newest album, Starting Over, comes with a song called Starting Over and it just takes me on that ride. Of starting new chapters in life. But always having that four-leaf clover with you. That rock. My son’s birth began a new chapter for my husband and I. And although we’ve had several other new chapters since, this song just makes me feel the luckiest. Please enjoy!!







Thank you, Facebook, for reminding me of this incredible Redneck photo. And thank you @bonnieburkephoto for always loving on our family over the years. Time has gone by too fast and now we are celebrating our 5-year-old little man. Your adventurous, most loving spirit has taken us to places we’ve never been. I invite you all to sit in your most loving space in your house, whether it be your kitchen, den, or front porch, and welcome in that crisp fall air. With a little Chicken and Wild Rice Soup and some Chris Stapleton on in the background. Thank you as always for reading.










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