You know what sucks ladies?
A summer cold. Aren’t they the worst? Here it is, sunny and warm and gorgeous out and I have a cold? Ridiculous.
For me, there is only one real cure and that’s homemade chicken soup. From scratch. In my single life in L.A., when I was too weak to even make soup, Jerry’s Deli chicken matzo ball soup was so darn good. It seriously is the best chicken soup I have ever had. But now, living in the burbs, there is nothing like making it yourself. It’s a lot cheaper than a visit to the doctor. Plus, the husband likes it too and it can never hurt to feed the person you are living with some chicken soup so they complain less when you give them your cold.
One whole chicken – medium size will do. It’s not Thanksgiving after all!
1 large Onion, diced
I small container Mushrooms, sliced
½ bag small carrots, chopped
Celery, about 3 stalks, chopped
I can beans or lentils
3 Bay leaves
Bunch of fresh parsley
1 cup White wine
½ bag frozen peas
2 large containers of chicken stock (I like Wolfgang Puck’s organic kind)
Sambal Oelek – chili seasoning sauce. You can find it in the Asian or spice section at the grocery store. My husband puts it on absolutely everything.
Rotini or elbow pasta or rice (optional)
NOTE: You can really put whatever vegetable you want in this soup. Potatoes, okra, lima beans. Anything. That’s what makes it so darn good!
Put chicken in big pot and cover with water. Place on stove on high heat.
As it cooks, which will take about an hour to an hour and a half, skim off the fat that collects on top and discard. If it is boiling over, just turn down heat to medium.
Meanwhile, in a pot, put 2 tbsp butter and melt on medium heat. Add chopped onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Stir until glistening about 10 minutes.
Add white wine and chicken stock. Put bay leaves and thyme and oregano in cheesecloth and tie with string. Throw into pot.
Chop ½ of the parsley and add to pot. Put in 2 tbsp. Sambal and 1 tbsp. curry and salt and pepper. Simmer
When chicken is done, remove from pot and let sit till cool enough to handle. Then, roll up sleeves and get in there and get all the chicken you can and shred into bite-size pieces. I throw away the skin. It is too slimy.
Add chicken pieces to pot. You could use the water from the chicken instead of chicken stock but I find that chicken stock has a much more concentrated flavor.
Let soup cook at simmer for another 30 minutes. Fish out the cheesecloth herb pouch and discard. Add beans (or lentils), the rest of the chopped parsley, peas, and pasta if you are doing that. Cook at medium heat for 10 minutes. Taste and add any additional curry or Sambal that you want. Serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
Eat soup over the next couple of days at every meal. Doctor’s orders!
Here’s to your health!!