18 October 2006

Chicken Soup for a Cold

When I'm sick, my body seems to have a mind of its own as to what it will let me eat. Solid food becomes completely out of the questions unless it's drowning in clear soup that invariably has to be chicken; and even then, most of the meat and vegetables gets pushed aside as I try to keep up with the copious amounts of liquids my sore throat demands.

I caught my first cold last weekend and consequentially I made my first pot of chicken soup for this year's cold & flu season. My chicken soup is a 2-step process that begins with boiling a whole (skinless) chicken in a pot of water with many slices of ginger, a few thick peels of lemon, a couple stalks of celery, and one bay leaf. Once the chicken is cooked, it's removed from what is now chicken stock. The chicken is cooled on a plate and the stock keeps boiling. You could strain the stock at this point before continuing, but I didn't—couldn't be bothered in my tired, somewhat miserable state.

Chopped vegetables are added to the stock. I use the classics for chicken soup: carrots, celery, and onions. I also throw in a ton of freshly grated ginger. If you're looking for a measurement, I would say, at least, a good heaping tablespoon—I'm a believer in the restorative powers of ginger, plus I think it tastes good, too. For a little starch, I added diced potatoes, but egg noodles are also a good choice, too, thus becoming chicken noodle soup.

Keep boiling until the vegetables are tender. Also salt and pepper to taste. Finally, add the chicken that has been pulled from the bone and shredded. The amount is up to you, but I don't use much and always have leftover poached chicken that I use for other things later. Also add finely chopped fresh herbs at this time—I like Italian flat leaf parsley.

Bring the soup to a boil again and serve steaming hot. The amount feeds more than one, so I had leftovers for the next day.

But chicken soup is good anytime, whether or not you're nursing a cold.

And speaking of flu and food, here's an article from the Food and Dining section of The Washington Post for your reading pleasure—Fight Flu with Tradition.



Blogger Jasmine said...

I really hope you don't have what I have...totally draining, very coughy...

Take care of yourself.


10/24/2006 5:09 PM  
Blogger Blue Plate said...

thanks, jasmine. i hope you're feeling better, too.

: ) b p

10/26/2006 8:48 PM  
Blogger Paz said...

Your soup looks good and comforting. I trust you're feeling much better!


10/29/2006 5:01 AM  
Blogger Blue Plate said...

I'm much better, Paz. Thanks.

11/01/2006 3:59 PM  

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