|There’s something satisfying about a bowl of warm soup|
Comfort in a bowl
Having a cold, cough and the works can be one of the most depressing things in the world. Ugh. That’s when you have a million things to do, want to do it all but just can’t move a finger. Gosh! How I hate being sick especially on a weekend, simply because it means I won’t have the energy to get into the kitchen and make something. I know I sound obsessed but then, that’s exactly how it is!
So the last time I was down with a cold, again on a weekend mind you, and this time the rasam which usually works did nothing for me. I didn’t have the energy to make paani puri, which happens to be my other tried-and-tested method for ‘curing’ a cold, even though a lot of people say that I’m only looking for another excuse to eat this! Now I just had to make chicken soup, it wasn’t the last resort really, but I wanted something that was warm, comforting and a meal by itself so I added some veggies also to this to make it more wholesome.
For the chicken stock
300 gms of chicken soup bones (you get them pre-packages)
1 small knob of ginger, crushed
3 garlic cloves, crushed (you may use lesser but I love the taste of garlic and the aroma)
1 tsp of soy sauce
1/2 tsp of fish sauce
1 stalk of lemon grass, slightly bruised
500-600 ml of water
For the soup
1 1/2 cups of boiled chicken pieces
1 whole cob of sweet corn, just the kernels
3-4 French beans, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
2 tbsp of green peas
Freshly crushed black pepper corn
Salt to taste
First prepare the stock by boiling the water, when it begins to bubble add the chicken and the rest of the ingredients. Lower to a medium flame and continue simmering until it has reduced a little and there is a white layer on top, this should take about 12-15 minutes. You can tie up all the aromatics in a piece of muslin cloth and drop it into the water too. This is called the bouquet garni method. Allow the stock to cool down a little, strain it and keep aside. You may discard the bones and the aromatics now.
Pour the stock into a saucepan, add the chicken pieces and allow it to cook for a while. Then add the peans, carrot, green peas and corn in the specified order. Adjust the seasoning. Let it simmer for a minute and turn off the flame. Add the pepper and give it a quick stir. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and serve hot.
* Add any kind of vegetables that you like, you can also add some mushrooms to this.
* Use kaffir lime leaves in place of lemongrass, this gives a more citrusy punch.
* You can also add some noodles to the soup to make it a more complete meal.