Soup Time ~ Irish Chicken Soup with a Twist

With the hurricane brewing on the east coast, the weather around here has been so dreary. My thoughts have been with the people who have and are facing much worse conditions than here in Ohio. Even though the sun has hardly shown up the past few days, I must admit that I enjoy this kind of rainy weather. There's something comforting about a rainy day. When I have the opportunity to stay home and cook on a rainy day, you will find me in the kitchen with the Frank Sinatra station on Pandora, as happy as can be, most likely making a big pot of soup. Those are the days I love most. 

Soups are definitely one of my favorite things to cook, mainly because they are so easy and delicious, but also because a nice mug of soup on a chilly and wet day is hard to beat. This particular soup is one I started making last winter. My family, particularly my dad, loves this creamy and hearty soup. I love it because it is so nourishing. Unlike traditional Irish chicken soup, I use sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes for the higher nutrient content. With all the orange color going on, this soup contains loads of betacarotene which is great for your skin, protects against cancer, colds, infections, and diseases. When I feel a cold coming on, this is the soup I make.

 Irish Chicken Soup

Like most soups, this soup will taste even better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to combine.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
3 large carrots, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, diced
2 chicken breasts, shredded
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot sauté the onion and celery in the oil until soft, about five minutes. Add carrot, garlic, and sweet potato; continue to cook about five minutes longer. Add stock and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cover and cook for about an hour, until the sweet potato cubes are easily pierced with a fork. Puree two-thirds of the soup in a blender, and pour blended soup back into pot. Add the chicken, and season to taste.

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