The only good thing (and yes, there is only one good thing) about Winter, is soup. Not that you can't eat soup all year, but when it's 110 degrees outside (in Texas)...piping hot soup isn't the first thing that comes to mind for dinner. I've only recently begun to make homemade soups, and so far I'm loving them all!! And not only does soup warm your tummy, but it can also warm your heart.
Fellow blogger Branny, of Branny Boils Over is hosting a Charity Souper Bowl. For every soup post submitted, she is donating $1 to the ASPCA. Such a wonderful foundation for abused animals and a wonderful charity blogging event that Branny is hosting to support them. Being an animal lover myself, and feeling like my heart is breaking every time I see those sad commercials on TV, I didn't even have to think about participating when I heard about it.
I have had animals my whole life, and I have loved them all to pieces (not in an Elmira way!), but none have touched my life and touched my heart as much as my sweet Bubba boy. He is my 12-year-old Boston Terrier that I have had for 9 years now. My friend Amber adopted him from a shelter, and when her parents wouldn't allow her to keep him, she brought him straight to me. I was in love from the moment that smushed face walked in my door. He was so playful, squeaking his little soccer ball and begging me to throw it. And his previous owners had trained him well. He was potty trained and overall the most well-behaved dog I had ever seen. He's a little spoiled, though not in the celebrity pet kind of way, but he is my baby - and in his mind he is a little person. He wants to be as close to human contact as possible at all times - well, unless you are throwing his squeaky toy that is - and although I've lost a little tolerance for his incessant need to lick my face I know he just wants to say I love you. He's totally a mama's boy, and he snuggles up close every night to spoon when we go to bed. I couldn't imagine ever harming him, and I'll never understand the people who abuse animals. I keep telling myself that he's going to live forever, because I can't imagine my life without him in it.
I hear some people say "he's just a dog" or that animals are just that - animals - but for most of us, they are so much more than that. They are friends, companions, and children. They bring so much joy and fulfillment to our lives and I'm thankful for every day Bubba is still here with me. He is 12 years old, but you would never know it by the way he is still playful like a puppy, other than the graying of the hair on his sweet little face. So, I dedicate this post to my sweet little guy, who warms my heart every day, and is a comfort to my life - like chicken noodle soup when you aren't feeling well! Below are a few pictures of my sweet little Bubba boy.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 quarts chicken stock (I used Knorr chicken stock)
- 8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.
- Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender.
- Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper.