Every time I get a cold, I crave old-fashioned chicken soup. Nothing fancy, just plain old chicken soup. Today after teaching for a full day and straining my vocal cords with elementary-school-aged children, I looked forward to nothing more than a bowl of chicken soup. So I stopped at the grocery for the ingredients and made it. This is what I did.
First: chop up 1 heart of celery (leaves included), 2 medium onions, and half a pound(ish) of carrots. Saute all these in a bit of olive oil in the bottom of your soup pot. When the onion becomes translucent, add 5 cloves minced garlic. Yes, 5. Garlic is good for a cold. Go ahead and add more if you want, but never less.
When the smell becomes almost too much for you, but before the garlic has browned, add 2 quarts chicken stock. Since I didn't have my usual handy-dandy chicken stock boxes around, I made my own out of Reduced Sodium chicken flavored Better than Bouillon. It worked just fine. Add in: 2 bay leaves, about a tablespoon fresh rosemary (I just snipped off a sprig and threw it in the pot), and about 3 tablespoons of freeze-dried shallots from (you guessed it) Penzey's.
Next: tear all the meat off a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. (My reason for not roasting my own chicken? A whole rotisserie chicken was cheaper than a whole raw chicken by about a dollar. And it saved me a few hours time. And I wanted chicken soup TODAY, not tomorrow. If I had a raw chicken, I would have made roasted chicken for dinner today. I digress.) Stir the meat into the soup. Bring to a simmer. Oh yeah - don't put the chicken skin in the soup. Ick. Season with seasoned salt and pepper to taste.
About an hour before serving, add 1 cup uncooked white rice. Stir occasionally until it is time to serve.