Chicken Soup for the Soul was originally the title of a book published back in 1993 by motivational speakers Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. It was essentially a compilation of inspirational, true stories that they had heard from their audience members during their talks. The book and its tales of everyday motivation and hope became a quick success. They followed up with Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul and then after that, they started cranking them out for every demographic. Chicken Soup for the Elderly Soul, Chicken Soup for the College Graduate Soul, Chicken Soup for the Left-handed Barbers Named Bob Soul, and so on and so forth. Today, it’s a bit of an empire with more books, shops, podcasts, videos and even dog food available for sale. In fact, it’s a multimillion dollar enterprise. I guess that means there is a strong desire for hope in our world, so that’s a good thing (especially in a capitalist society).
I remember the original book back in the nineties. In fact, at the risk of oversharing, I distinctly remember reading it in the bathroom. That’s what we used to do in the bathroom before we had smartphones. The book was perfect for those brief interludes because each story was only a few pages so you could get inspired while taking care of business. If you made it through one of the longer tales that meant that you needed more roughage in your diet. I’ve said too much. But it was a book that was always around back in the day and I understand why it was popular. It filled you with bits of hope which, like a nice bowl of chicken soup, warms up your insides.
While National Chicken Soup for the Soul Day is meant to commemorate the book and the whole Chicken Soup movement, I decided to take it literally and make some chicken soup. While that may seem like cheating, I contend that actual chicken soup will nourish the soul just as hardily as any book can (and it will also nourish the body as well). Chicken soup is the feeling of warmth and home and healing. It is comfort. The name of the book/series is a loose metaphor for what all the comfort and nourishment those tales bring to us, so by making and enjoying actual chicken soup, we are symbolically (and physically) warming our souls. Plus, Lola likes soup (a lot) and she was coming home today.
I made my Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup which I have mentioned here before and even given you the recipe. It’s a Lola favorite – nice and creamy with chunks of chicken and rice inside. I am not sure what I did or why it came out the way it did, but this batch was particularly good. I made it just before noon which worked out well because I had to let it cool. I was leaving the house at 4 pm to go pick her up and by the time that rolled around, the soup was cooled and carefully packed into the fridge. Lola’s flight was right on time so there were no delays. She had a wonderful trip and was full of excitement when she got into the car. She was even excited for some of my work and blog stuff too. She was anxious to get down to it all. When we got home, Lola wanted a nice hot shower to get the travel off her. While she was doing that, I warmed up our soup and got ready for a nice cozy feasy.
To me, this soup is the best of both worlds. It has the flavor and warmth of a nice chicken soup, but has the creaminess of a nice buttery cream soup. When I make a batch of my soup (which is what Lola calls it – YOUR soup), it will usually last us for about 4 or 5 days. We’ll both eat it for the first two days but then Lola will have it for five days straight to the very last drop. Did I mention she is a soup nut? We always think it’s kismet that we ended up together – a fine soup maker and a passionate soup enthusiast. The yin to my yang. Coming home from a day a travel makes you want to settle in with a nice cozy dinner. For Lola, I hope that meant a nice warm bowl of soup freshly made just for her. I was excited that she was back home and I wanted to give her a soup that would warm her soul, just like the book promised.
Next up: National Chicken Nugget Day