I don’t even know how I’ve wound up getting half of the emails that clog my inbox. I guess from ordering things online, reading particular websites, signing petitions… It’s like you can’t be an active participant in the world without it leading to a perpetual swamp of promotional emails, in addition to all the ones that you actually want either from lists you’ve consciously signed up for or people you actually want to hear from. You know?
My email swamp includes a lot of food-related emails, especially weeknight cooking ideas. I intentionally signed up for them all, I know, but I have to admit that I rarely look at them. They get trashed during the daily (or more like weekly these days) email triage process wherein 90% of the emails in my inbox get dumped. It’s been a classic case of thinking that something would be useful, but then it turned out all my ideas and inspiration were coming from elsewhere.
Until now. Suddenly the little free time I used to have for perusing blogs and cookbooks and eating out and collecting ideas has been reduced even more dramatically than my inbox during email triage. It’s down to, like, 2.7% of what it used to be. So, dinner ideas that fall into my lap in the form of an email pinging into my inbox have become most welcome.
That’s where this one came from. I saw an email that said, “spicy chicken soup,” and I thought, “hey, that actually sounds really good!” (It was also desperately dreary outside, purply grey and raining. Nasty weather, but a knock out of a day for making chicken soup.) Plus, the photo of the soup was taken by Yossy, whose style I love (have you checked out her dessert column on Food52? Drool.). I was sold.
Then I read the recipe and realized that – after the purchase of a rotisserie chicken (we’re lucky to have a Co-op with pretty smashing organic ones – a real lifesaver on out of control days) – I could probably get the soup onto the table in about 20 minutes. Doubly sold!
For a meal so ridiculously easy, it’s surprisingly delicious, gently spicy with pepper and ginger, brightened by lemon, swimming with meaty chunks of chicken. Joel kvetched, as he always does about soup, and asked if he could order pizza. I said “fine,” but made the pot of soup for myself anyway. Then Joel tasted the soup and admitted it was better than his pizza. Guess I’m going to have to start saving more recipe emails!
- 1 whole rotisserie chicken, meat picked from the bones and shredded (save the bones to make stock!)
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 5 oz baby spinach
- 6-8 cups chicken stock
- the juice of one lemon
- salt and pepper
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and celery and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the ginger, garlic, and pepper flakes and cook 2 minutes more.
- Stir in the spinach just until wilted, then add the shredded chicken and the chicken stock, adding less stock if you like a more chunky soup and more if you like a more soupy soup. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and stir in the lemon juice. Serve! Squirt sriracha into the bowls of soup before serving, if desired.