Thursday, August 27, 2009

Comfort in Food...


Worries go down better with soup. ~Jewish Proverb
For the past couple days, I have had a scratchy throat...K2 very obligingly passed along his enthusiastic germs to me. Trying to get better, I craved something non-complicated and hot...like Chicken Soup. It is no wonder the term "Chicken Soup for the Soul" is used so frequently...some say Chicken Soup has medicinal qualities...in fact a team of Doctors in Nebraska led by Dr. Stephen Rennard conducted a study which proved that Chicken Soup has anti-inflammatory properties that could explain why it soothes sore throats and eases the misery of colds and flus.
So after a brief sojourn to Whole Foods where I picked up -
(A) Organic Free Range Chicken Legs (2Lbs)
(B) Organic Carrots (3 medium)
(C) Shitake Mushrooms ( 1 Carton)
(D) Eucalyptus Essential Oil (not for the soup but for putting in the humidifier :-) )
(E) GreenLee's Cinnamon Bread (it is the best cinnamon bread in the world)
(F) Pirates Booty for the little guy
I busied myself in the kitchen, cutting and chopping 2 Red Onions, Half a small Garlic Bulb (yes you need that much), the Carrots and the Mushrooms. After some chopping therapy, where I let out all the tension and cleaning the chicken (I am still squeamish about that part)...I got my big pressure cooker ready for some action.

I sauteed the Red Onions and the Garlic in very little olive oil. When the onions were light brown I added in the Carrots and the mushrooms...after sauteing for about 3 minutes I added in the Chicken. Cooked the chicken till it was cooked half way and then added in a dash of Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins), Some Dark Soy Sauce (a generic Japanese brand) and some mirin...Coarse Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste....I added 5 cups of water. When the water came to boil, I put the lid of the pressure cooker on. I let the whistle go about 8 times (yes that seems like too many but just trust me!) and then brought the heat all the way down to Low and let the soup simmer for about 2o minutes...

I let the soup sit on the gas about 1/2 hr... I am super cautious around my pressure cooker...I give it enough time to seethe and splutter...when I removed the lid of my pressure cooker...the smell of the soup/stock was pure magic....the taste was pure, unadulterated comfort. I savored my soup with an extra dash of black pepper while I watched a re-run of Iron Chef on TV. And for that half hour it felt like the world was my stage....and I could put forth an Oscar Worthy Performance...
Chicken Soup is a wonderfully forgiving recipe...so I don't think you can go wrong with this recipe...Try it at home, try my version or get inventive and add your favorite ingredients

I have read the book "Chicken Soup for the Soul" and there was a beautiful quote in it that I cherish -
Family means sharing inadequacies, imperfections and feelings with each other and still loving each other. But even when you set out to love, you may not always be a likable person. And when you're not perfect, forgiveness for yourself and others becomes important. Then you get up the next day and start again. It is a process, like the opening of a bud. It is a flowering, a blooming, and blossoming.
Here's looking forward to the weekend...R&M, we look forward to seeing you and S over the weekend.

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