Anybody who’s ever read any Chicken Soup for the Soul, and I think that’s quite a few people, can relate to this post in one way or another. My sister Karen is one of the sweetest, strongest, and the absolute busiest person I know. I admire her in every way, and yesterday she proved my point yet again, she asked her beloved nanny Elsa who is my friend and hers, to make a batch of her Special Chicken Soup for a sick neighbor who has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy.
As it happened, the day before I had given a cooking lesson to my niece who is a newlywed and has a ton of kitchen gadgets to figure out. As it was her first lesson with me I started with a few basic principles and cutting techniques, and a simple stock pot on the back burner, to show her how easy it was, after cleaning a chicken, to make “Chicken Salad Melts” on her new Panini Press, and to use the bones and veggies left over to make a great soup base at the same time. So voilá — Elsa already had  freshly made base for her Special Chicken Soup. Add the chicken and veggies and matzo balls (from the mix) and cilantro, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful pot of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”.
I don’t even know the neighbor’s name, but what I do know is that I’ve lost not only my beautiful mother, Louise, to cancer but many a friend and other relatives as well. I don’t like to do serious posts (as you all may have gathered) but felt this one was warranted because a random act of kindness, spontaneously shared by so many people’s efforts, seemed to come together so effortlessly. Wouldn’t it be great to encourage this type of behavior in all my readers and friends and family who read this post, and follow the blog? The act of making the soup was easy, but the thought doesn’t always cross our minds, with our busy day-to-day lives and our own problems to deal with. Maybe Karen’s thoughtfulness will spread to all who read this. Do something kind for someone — anyone — it can be a friend or someone you barely know, as that part really doesn’t matter. This is the way I was raised so it comes naturally to me and even I forget, with my busy busy, rush rush life, the very basic meaningfulness of “Random Acts of Kindness”, and “Pay it Forward”, so stop every once in a while and look around you, and just appreciate what you have. You’ll be happy you did it, I know I was. Thank you, Karen: we can all take a lesson from this.

Caldo De Pollo:
1 package Matzo Ball Mix prepare as according to package directions, set aside
Have ready a big stock pot, and bring to a boil, then simmer after adding
3-4 quarts chicken stock homemade is best for this one!!!
1 1/2 whole Chicken skinned and fat removed and cut up into separate pieces leg, thigh, etc., cut the breast in half twice.
Simmer ten minutes and add:
4-5 large Carrots cut in 1/2″ diagonal slices
4-5 large ribs Celery in 1/2″ diagonal slices
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves garlic whole
simmer ten more minutes, and add Matzo balls and
3 med Zucchinis in 1/2″ diagonal slices
simmer as long as it takes Matzo balls to cook and add
1 bunch Cilantro cleaned of dirt and stems and roughly torn apart
Salt and Pepper to taste
Turn off and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

And as always, Enjoy!!!
© Jennifer green Alger 2010