Sunday, February 6, 2011

IMMA NEED SOME SOUP UP IN HERE

Soup may be one of the most comforting and versatile dishes in the world. Almost every culture has it's own style of soup; think Gazpacho, Thom Kha Gai, Bouillabaise, Chilli con Carne, Curry Laksa, Gumbo, Irish Stew... there's even Hejangguk which is Korean hangover soup. Soup is particularly awesome when you are ill, self-inflicted or otherwise. Accordingly, you should know how to make a basic chicken soup. It's way easier than one might think and although it doesn't look that amazing it tastes wholesome as.


BASIC CHICKEN SOUP
Serves a few hungover unwell people

Chicken breast
Tinned lentils/chickpeas/beans of some sort
Orzo/quinoa/pasta etc
Veges eg potato, brocoli, carrot, leek, celery...
Half a medium-sized diced onion
Garlic, chopped thinly
Oil/butter
Chicken stock, powdered, fresh, whatever
Freshly boiled water
Salt and pepper to taste

Put a small tablespoon of oil (or butter) into the bottom of a large, heavy-based saucepan. I'm talking the kind of pot you would use to boil potatoes for a family of four. Fry up your onion, garlic and other similar veges (eg leeks, celery) until they are translucent.

Chuck in 1-2 tablespoons of powdered chicken stock (or 1-2 cups of liquid stock). Top up immediately with freshly boiled water, around 3/4 of the way up to the top of the pan. Wait until the water is boiling in the pot and add your potatoes and carrots and other veges that take a little while to cook along with your grains and legumes (pasta and chickpeas, second and third ingredients). Also add your chicken breast whole and let the soup simmer away for around 15 minutes, or until the chicken breast is cooked right through.

When this is done, take it out and put on a plate (do it with tongs, don't stealth mode it and kill yourself) and wait till it's a bit cooler to shred it up into bite-sized pieces. If you have waitress fingers like me and you can deal do it while it's still ridiculously hot. When the chicken is shredded, throw it back into the pot along with the veges that don't take so long to cook (think stir fry veges eg capsicum, brocoli etc).

Let the mix simmer for another five minutes or so and then taste it. Now is the time to add salt and pepper. You can add heaps before you over-salt or over-pepper it, so be lenient but don't forget to taste it after each addition. You could also add basil, rosemary etc about now. Basically once you are satisfied with the taste, it's ready to go. GET IT IN A BOWL QUICK!

And that is that.

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