My baby is sick.
littlej is home with a cold. A very nasty cold. She needs a food that will nourish both her body and soul, wrap her up in loving, steamy warmth and let her know she is protected and cared for.
Of course, the only food capable of all that is : Chicken Soup.
Jewish Penicillin, Avgolemono, Samgyetang, Ajiaco..... different names for the same thing, Liquid Love.
Here in Canberra, it's mid winter. Clothes hang limply on the line for days in a vain attempt to 'go green' and not use the dryer. We even have snow on the mountains. Bleak mornings with several degrees of frost, early darkness and a few hours of fantastic sunshine. Unfortunately the sunshine is weak, and unable to kindle any more warmth than a faint flickering of hope that spring is indeed on it's way.
But, back to the soup.... I make a yummy Asian style soup with lots of fresh bits and pieces
Start off with some chicken stock. The better the stock, the better the finished product. Never, ever, never use stock cubes. Promise me. Tetra packs of stock are OK, just check for gluten and stuff.
Place stock in pot with aromatics. I use: Lemon Grass, big chunk of Ginger, a couple of Garlic cloves, a finely sliced Kaffir Lime Leaf and some Corriander roots. I also add a slurp of Shouxing Wine as well, but that is optional.
Leave to simmer for a while to infuse. I like to leave it for at least half an hour.
Place in some sliced chicken breast or thighs, I use about 100gr per person, and simmer very gently until cooked through. Time to put in the drained corn and the tin creamed corn. This should only take about 10 mins or so until cooked now.
While this is happening, prepare the fresh bits and condiments. I use finely sliced carrot, celery, spring onions, fresh corriander and usually a large red chilli. I also like to add some crunch with fried shallots and fried garlic. These are availabe from Asian supermarkets and sometimes Coles and Woollies.
To help make this a complete meal and stretch it out some, I use noodles. Have I mentioned how much I love Changs products? They have a great range of Asian products that are all gluten free and available at Coles and Woollies too. I don't bother heating them up as the soup will do that nicely for me, I just divvy them up in the bowls.
I also prepare a couple of eggs lightly whisked with some Sesame Oil. This will help enrichen and thicken the end product
By now, the soup will be done, don't forget to fish out the corriander roots though. Just before serving, take the soup off the heat and stir in a thin stream of the beaten egg and oil mix. The colour will change and the soup will thicken slightly. Don't worry if there is the odd bit of stringy egg- it's all edible and yummy.
Layer up all the noodles, fresh bits and pieces and ladle on the hot soup.