Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Chicken Soup that Fights Colds Like Medicine

sick baby before chicken soup 
Someone in this house has been sick for months now.  We've thrown up, coughed, sneezed, and fevered for so long, I am starting to lose my mind.  I know I'm not alone.  The particularly awesome cold that started with a croupy cough, graduated to a snot fountain, resolved at a dry cough and then settled into a fever and sore throat has been wearing down all of my toddler-mama friends as well.  I have a scratchy throat for the third day in a row, but if it doesn't develop into a fever by tonight, I may have fought this thing off for a second time. This is my secret weapon:

My not-exactly-a-recipe for the chicken soup that has comforted us on more than one occasion.  I don't really use recipes too much, so these are ballpark amounts. Feel free to tweak as needed, but don't leave out the secret ingredient.  I usually make this when I have leftover cooked chicken already and so my story really begins there....

Start with a whole onion, the bigger the better and chop "rustically."
That's by hand, not in the food processor and not as big pieces as you'd see in a fajita.

Next, chop a bunch of celery including some of the leaves about the same size as the onions.
A bunch is the amount that makes sense to you.  I like celery and so I do about 4 stalks.

Now for some carrots.  I hate cooked carrots with a passion, but they do something for this soup that I can't explain. Maybe just the color? I usually do about 12 baby carrots. Which isn't much, but I get bored of chopping them into tiny pieces I can't quite taste and I don't want to grate them because they are so tiny I get my knuckles or fingernails caught on the grater.

In a large soup-pot, melt some butter...about 2 tablespoons and start to sauté the veggies, but keep adding the next ingredients.

While they cook, add in an obscene amount of minced garlic.  I don't know how to do fresh garlic, but I love that big ole' jar of minced garlic in olive oil.  It's not the secret ingredient but it's close.
I dump it in straight out of the jar, but maybe you would measure it at about 1/4 of a cup...or more!

Now. The secret ingredient:  fresh ginger.  Peel a chunk about the size of two of your fingers and then chop it tiny and throw it in with the veggies and garlic.

I start spicing the mixture at this point as well:  I like to throw in poultry seasoning, thyme, sage, and some fresh or dried rosemary to really take things up a notch.  If your sinuses were clogged, they should be feeling better over this steaming, aromatic concoction.  May I also suggest generous dashes of cayenne pepper, white pepper, fresh cracked pepper, and of course... salt to your liking.

To this, you can add canned, cooked chicken or leftover chicken or chicken you boiled in broth or baked, broiled or fried.  I really don't think it matters much.  I've done all of the above.  It's almost not about the chicken as much as it is about the broth, so pick whatever you like and toss it in with the spices and veggies to absorb those flavors a bit before adding the liquid.

Next, I mix Tones Chicken Base with water in some semblance of their suggestions on the label. Just don't assume, like one of my children who will remain nameless in this post,  that chicken BASE and chicken BROTH are the same thing and add the whole jar.  Cause that won't taste good.  I shoot for about 8 cups of broth, plus another two cups of water that will steam off.  I heat up the water in the microwave in a batter bowl, add the base, whisk it, and then pour it into the now-soft veggies.

Finally, I add a cup or two of parboiled rice. You can use instant or long grain or brown or whatever kind of rice you like, I just happen to find parboiled rice easiest.

I let the whole wonderful thing simmer for about 30 minutes or until some kid comes into the kitchen asking,  "What's for dinner?"

Even though they can see a pot on the stove that is full of soup. 

At the last minute, I like to go outside and snip off some fresh parsley... a small handful of it...and chop it small like I'm on a cooking show.  It gives the whole thing a great color and I always hear that parsley is really good for you.

We like it with oyster crackers. Or saltines. Or bread and butter.  Or by itself.  I'm not really about rules when it comes to cooking. Can you tell?

Feel better and eat your soup.

sick baby after chicken soup (and a day of sleep)
with all the hair bows she has.






2 comments:

Timothy said...

This recipe sounds delicious! No wonder you felt better after eating this soup. This soup is packed full of good ingredients that are known to help us deal with colds. Ginger and garlic are a staple in my household whenever I am feeling sick. I like to grate a little ginger into my herbal tea with some honey or agave. It always does the trick for me.

SabrinaGreen said...

I am agree with you. Soup during temperature really works. parking Heathrow

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