Lighter creamy chicken noodle soup

I try to steer clear of political and/or social commentary in this food column – or anywhere beyond the confines of my own living room, really – and that’s not going to change anytime soon.

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Except to say what a hot mess the past few weeks have been.

Of course, they were preceded by approximately 45 weeks of general hot coronavirus messiness beforehand, so you’d think we’d be used to the unexpected turmoil. Nevertheless, the past few weeks have amped up the stress levels for a lot of us.

I’m a big-time stress eater, and I also eat my feelings. So you can imagine how much food I can pack away when I’m feeling stressed.

For the past two decades or so, my typical reaction to all this upheaval would have been to spend several quiet evenings on the couch with my arm around my favorite bag of chips, binge-watching a 24-hour news channel.

But I’m trying to be a healthier person now, and that means avoiding things that aren’t good for me, like entire bags of chips. And 24-hour news channels.

I try to use stress as a motivator to hit the treadmill, which generally helps, but like most people, when the world appears to be burning down around me, I seek comfort. (Comfort-seeking has been a common theme for a lot of people since about last March.)

When all the havoc of the world feels like it’s too much for my fragile psyche, I turn to old favorites – watching 1990s sitcoms, rereading my favorite books and whipping up some comfort food standbys.

Nothing feeds the mind and body better than a bowl of homemade soup, and chicken noodle soup is the king of comfort foods. This version is one of my favorites, loaded with veggies, big chunks of chicken, hearty noodles and a lightened-up, yet creamy broth.

It literally is a chicken soup for the stressed-out human soul.    

Note: You can use leftover or rotisserie chicken; I usually put a few chicken breasts in the air fryer while I’m chopping veggies.

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