Cass’s Italian Chicken Soup & Hot Toddies (aka the cure for what ails ya)

I’ve been sick recently.  You’ve probably been sick recently.  And if you haven’t, you probably will get sick before winter is over.  It’s science.  Sorry for ya.

However, over the course of last week, I consumed two things that really seemed to help with my plague: Wheat’s grandmother Cass’s Italian Chicken Soup, and hot toddies.

Italian Chicken Soup | Oysters & Pearls

I’m calling this “Italian” chicken soup because 1) Cass is Italian, and 2) it’s catchy.  And I have been reprimanded for calling it “chicken noodle soup” by Wheat.  So there ya have it.

Not only is chicken soup comforting (and delicious) on a cold, blustery winter day, but there is scientific evidence that it helps reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms.  So get in the kitchen (or have your nurse get in the kitchen) and make this soup.

Cass’s Italian Chicken Soup Recipe
serves six with plenty of leftovers


– 1 whole chicken (innards removed)
– 2 cups orzo pasta
– six to eight celery sticks, broken in half
– 8 to 10 carrots (or a small package), cut into coins
– grated Romano cheese for garnishing
– Salt & Pepper to taste


Boil chicken and celery sticks together until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the celery sticks and chicken from the pot.  Pick the meat from the chicken and return to the pot.  (Don’t add the celery back – just toss it or compost it).   Add water if necessary.  Add the carrots and orzo and cook until the orzo is done.  Salt and pepper to taste, and serve with grated Romano cheese.

Italian Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

I prefer to “grate” my Romano cheese using a microplane.  I’ve mentioned it before, but it makes the prettiest little curls that melt really easily into whatever food you’re serving.

Cass's Italian Chicken Soup Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

I swear, a week’s worth of chicken soup (plus a Z-pack) is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Italian Chicken Noodle Soup | Oysters & Pearls

And even if you aren’t the least little bit sick, I promise you’ll thoroughly enjoy this.  I’ll never go back to regular old chicken noodle soup again!

Cass's Italian Chicken Soup Recipe  | Oysters & Pearls

In addition to consuming massive quantities of chicken soup, I also have been imbibing quite a few hot toddies.  With a non-stop cough, my throat is hurting something fierce, and these hot cocktails really soothe a sore and scratchy throat.


Hot Toddy Recipe


– 1 miniature bottle (50 mL) good bourbon
– 1 tablespoon honey
– 2 teaspoons lemon juice, plus a fresh squeeze
– 6 ounces hot water


Pour your mini bottle of bourbon into a mug.  I thoroughly enjoyed using Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey, as well as Wild Turkey American Honey whiskey.  Heat the water up in a measuring cup in the microwave.  Add the honey to the bourbon, then pour the hot water over the spoon to remove all the honey and stir until the honey dissolves completely.  Add the lemon juice, stir again, and garnish with a lemon wedge.  Then heat the entire mug up for 30 seconds or so to make sure it’s especially hot and steamy.  Sip and enjoy.

I swear, this saved my voice last week.  And made me feel far less lame sitting at home on NYE, because hey, at least I was drinking bourbon?

I hope that if you are indeed ill, that these two common cures for the common cold help you muddle through it.

Happy Cold & Flu Season, y’all!

Until Next Time

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