It's almost universal: our appeal for chicken soup. I don't have any hard evidence that it cures anything, but I do know it's what I turn to when I've had a rough day.
Just about every culture has their version of chicken noodle soup which is a simple saute of onions, carrots, and celery, chicken stock and pasta. Once you get the basics, noodle around yourself using different shapes of pasta, or stir in some spinach or kale, or try grating some ginger, lemongrass, and some chile flakes for an Asian twist that open any stuffed nose or go Greek and whisk in a beaten egg and some lemon juice. Either way, make some chicken noodle soup.
Yield: 6 servings
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups chicken stock, home made or low-sodium store bought
2 ounces angel hair pasta cooked al dente
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
In a large soup or sauce pot, heat oil over medium heat.
Cook carrots, celery, and garlic 3 to 5 minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic.
Add stock and raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer 5 minutes.
Add noodles and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add parsley and season with salt and pepper.
Variations on Chicken Soup
Noodle around with different pasta shapes: little ones love pastina or alphabet shaped pasta (no need to pre-cook); try cooked egg noodles for richer flavor; or flavored pastas such as tomato or spinach.
For an Asian twist add 2 tablespoons grated ginger, 1 stalk lemongrass (smash the stalk to release some of its flavor), and a few pinches of dried red pepper flakes when you are sautéing the other vegetables. (Remove the lemongrass before serving.) This may not cure a cold, but it will certainly open your nasal passages and offer some relief—oh, and it tastes great.
Go Greek and make avgolemono soup. Substitute 1 cup cooked rice for the pasta and whisk together 2 eggs and the juice of one lemon. Add one cup of hot broth to the egg and lemon, whisk well, then whisk back the mixture back into the larger pot—do not boil again.
(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)
Annie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.
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