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Fresh basil is the star of the show in this hearty soup.

Liquid sustenance is my thang. Though I believe soup is an excellent meal for any type of weather — including summer — it does give a special kind of satisfaction when the weather begins to flirt with the impending colder temperatures.

The only thing better than a pot simmering all day long, is a pot of soup that tastes like it simmered all day but in reality was thrown together in minutes. Yeah, I know. That’s the goal of every meal for busy families.

I am no stranger to this type of cooking. I’ve spent a few years honing in on the secrets that make the foods we love be as fuss-free as possible.

With meals like this one, all the flavors and depth of deliciousness, I’m never going back to long, arduous cook times — no matter the promises the lengthy steps boast.

Basil is one of my favorite fresh herbs. I grew it this year in a large container pot that kept me lavishly supplied for months. Of course, I put it on everything I ate — even salads where a pop of flavor could be enjoyed among the freshness of other leafy greens.

But when it’s simmered in a pot of stock, it imparts a somewhat loud hint of old-world Italian.

Change the accompanying flavors and it’s a whole other story packed with a punch — different but delicious, nonetheless. This is that soup.

Chicken Basil Soup

1 pound ground chicken or turkey

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 bunch fresh basil

3 carrots, diced thin

3 T. soy sauce

1 T. olive oil

2 T. sesame oil

1 quart water

2 bay leaves

2 tsps. honey

1 T. apple cider vinegar

1 jalapeno, chopped

Parmesan cheese

Crusty bread

In a large stock pan, drizzle the olive oil and brown the ground chicken with the onion, carrots, jalapeño and garlic.

Add in the soy sauce and honey once the chicken is brown. Stir. Then add in the water, vinegar and sesame oil.

Cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Add in the basil at the end.

Cover and allow to rest. Top with Parmesan cheese. Serve with crusty bread.

Janet McCormick is the author of “10-Minute Meals” and owner of Let’s Eat in Huntington. She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.