Mary Beth Johnson is a wife and mum to four schooners, as she’s dubbed her children. On a normal afternoon, you would find her in moccasins, skinny jeans and a comfortable tee, camera in hand. Recently moving to the suburbs of Atlanta, Mary Beth spends her days homeschooling, sneaking away to the bookstore, trying to act the part of a southerner, and sifting through recipes in The Vegetarian Times. Food is her love language.

It’s November and probably the hardest and yet the happiest month of the year for me because there will be loved ones missing from our Thanksgiving table. While I love all holidays and the excuse to rest and celebrate, this one is my favorite. I attribute that to two of my most favorite people in the world who both impressed upon me from a young age the importance of gratitude – my dad and my grandmother. I think there are things that happen to you in life that make you either bitter or thankful and if you allow God to work His grace in your life you can see the green and living buds in a bed of tangled thorns.



This year I’m thankful for living buds and for thorns…because without one you can’t fully appreciate the other. This year I’m thankful for grace in hard places and for heavenly reunions and for lives made anew in Christ. I’m thankful for memories of the big farmhouse, the fine china dishes, and the baked macaroni and cheese. And I’m thankful that we do not gather without hope this November (or any other), but we congregate with peace and expectancy for all that God has done and will continue to do. 

This is a comforting soup that I know my grandmother would have loved. As with most one-pot meals, the ingredients are really just guidelines. Add more or less as you see fit, but if I could make one suggestion don’t skip cooking the vegetables in the white wine. It adds incredible flavor! This soup would also work really well using leftover turkey meat after Thanksgiving, just make a broth using the leftover carcass and a pot of boiling water. 
 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice blend
 1 cup chopped yellow onion (from about 1 small onion) 
 1 cup diced carrots (from 2 medium) 
 1 cup diced celery (from 2 – 3 stalks) 
 7 Tbsp butter, diced, divided 
 1 clove garlic, minced 
 1/2 cup white wine (optional) 
 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (measured from 3 14.5 oz cans)*
 1/4 tsp of each dried thyme, marjoram, sage and rosemary 
 Salt and ground black pepper, to taste 
 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts halves* 
 1/2 cup flour 
 1 1/2 cups milk 
 1/2 cup heavy cream 
 1 tsp lemon zest + a couple drops of YL Lemon Essential Oil 
 Salt + pepper, to taste


 1.)Prepare rice according to directions listed on package.

2.) Halfway through the rice cooking, in a separate large pot, melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and wine and saute until slightly tender, about 4 minutes, adding in garlic during last 30 seconds of sautéing. Add chicken broth, thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high, add chicken and bring mixture to a boil. Cover pot with lid and allow mixture to boil 12 – 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (rotating chicken to opposite side once during cooking for thicker chicken breasts – if they don’t fully immerse in broth). Remove chicken and set aside on cutting board to cool 5 minutes then shred into small bite size pieces. Meanwhile reduce heat to low and add cooked rice. Add shredded chicken to soup.

3.) In a separate medium saucepan, melt remaining 6 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook 1 1/2 minutes, whisking constantly. Then, while whisking vigorously, slowly pour milk into butter/flour mixture. Cook mixture, stirring constantly until it thickens. Add milk mixture to soup mixture in pot and cook about 5 minutes longer, or until soup is thickened (at this point, you can simmer the soup for a longer period of time if you want the rice to soften more, just cover with lid first and stir occasionally. You can also add what’s left in the remaining can of chicken broth). Stir in heavy cream, lemon zest, and YL lemon essential oil and serve warm. 

 *Note: I used a rotisserie chicken from the store to cut down on preparation and cost. I carved the meat and set aside. I simmered the leftover carcass in a huge pot of boiling water on the stove and then strained the remaining chicken broth into a bowl and saved for the soup. 

**  Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. If you are currently on medication, please DO NOT STOP. This is just how I make & do things. you must make informed decisions for yourself and your own family. 

“We are starting our journey with Essential Oils and have done our own research on the purity of oils.  I am confident in using oils in our recipes because we only use Young Living.  They are  beyond organic and never use pesticides, herbicides or any harmful chemicals. Their soil has never been exposed to them as well.  I don’t suggest ever using any other oil for ingestion because I don’t know of their purity. “


December 2, 2015


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