Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Chicken Soup

It’s been quiet here lately. Not “here” in my life, but here in this blog. I suppose the inactivity over here is due to it being anything but quiet everywhere else. Crunch time at work is having me ask Santa for more hours in the day instead of that ice cream maker that I have been eyeing.

Also, with the Christmas shopping season in full frenetic swing, we are rushing to make our bags fast enough to satisfy the orders that are coming in! Which of course is a very good thing :) More bags sold means less plastic bags being used! Yay!

Which brings me to my own Christmas shopping, with which I am dangerously falling behind, despite ardent promises to “start early this year, really”.

I’m not even going to go into the alarming size of my laundry pile.

And, as if it wasn’t enough that all my waking moments were spoken for, I’ve started dreaming about charts, graphs, outlines, and unanswered emails!

So, despite valiant resistance, I’ve fallen under the weather. Nothing serious...just a scratchy throat and achy bones and general “unwell” feeling. But enough, coupled with all of the above, to leave me little time to come over here and chat.

My foolproof solution to this bout with the sniffles would be a vacation of course, somewhere sunny with no cars or worries – just a hammock, a nice breeze, and ten good books...and lots of yummy things to eat and cocktails involving both rum and mango. Unfortunately, that’s just not in the cards right now so I’ve had to go with the next best thing – Chicken Soup.

Chicken Soup with Orzo and Ginger
(adapted from Donna Hay’s Chicken, Risoni, and Herb Soup, Donna Hay Magazine, issue 41 page 62)

  • 1 liter chicken stock
  • 10-20 grams ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 100 grams orzo
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
  • The leaves from 3-4 sprigs of cilantro

- Place stock and ginger in saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Add orzo and cooked as per package directions (10-12 minutes) or until al dente.
- Add chicken and cook for a further minute or so until the chicken is warmed through.
- Take off heat and stir through the cilantro.
- Serves two.

Nothing hits the spot when you’re feeling all sniffly-ill like chicken noodle soup. This is my version adapted from a Donna Hay recipe I spotted in her last issue. I’ve loved orzo (which is pretty much the same thing as risoni I think) since I first had it in lamb youvetsi so I was excited to use it in a different way. I added ginger to the soup because, at least in my sparse medical knowledge, ginger is the best thing ever for a scratchy throat (I also brew a wickedly strong ginger infusion, salabat in Filipino, when I have a sore throat). Plus, there is just something about ginger in soup that makes me feel like I am already getting better.

This is simple and requires minimum fuss to make...making it perfect for someone who is not feeling well enough to prepare a meal. It will serve two people on a rainy night or one sick person for a day (returning to the pot from lunch to dinner), perhaps with some toast. My only advice would be to use the best chicken stock you have since there is not much else in the soup. I don’t use homemade stock in every single recipe that calls for it, but this would definitely be all the more curative for using an excellent homemade stock. I used a batch I had made one lazy Sunday from two roast chicken carcasses I had stashed away in my freezer. The shredded chicken I added to the soup was leftover from another roast chicken – yet another way to use leftovers!

That’s all for now – I’m back to work filled with vitamins and chicken soup. Hopefully that will be enough to get me through the day!

Don’t think I have forgotten about HHDD #24: Pesto! I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Some news: If you’re in the Philippines and would like to see some of my ideas for your Christmas meal leftovers, I’ve put together some dishes with that in mind for Yummy Magazine’s December 2008 issue...in newsstands now! Also, although this is a bit late, I’ve written all about my neighbourhood market for the November 2008 issue of Homestyle Magazine...if you are curious and can still find it, have a peek! :)


mtan said...

Feel better soon Joey. Stress, lack of sleep, and the traffic: these are the reasons I think we're all not feeling well these days. (I put trying to figure out what to buy people for xmas in with Stress). Add a squirt of lemon juice to your soup right before spooning into mouth. Calamansi works too. Added dose of Vit C I guess.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Relax and take your time!

That soup looks really good! Soul-uplifting!



Ling said...

Ah, being ill sucks. Especially when you have no time to spare!! Try this - it works for me: Hot chicken broth with grated raw garlic and as much hot chilli powder as you can handle. KILLS all the nasties and clears the sinuses... :)

Feel better soon!

Manggy said...

Oh noes! I hope you get better really soon. You cannot keep double-dutying your clothes! Hahaha :P Well, this delicious soup should melt your insides in a most luxurious way. Get plenty of rest too!

(Remembers silly Filipino Batman movie: Yan ang batcave. Batmobile. Batroom. Salabat.

Patsyk said...

Chicken soup is known to cure EVERYTHING! Feel better, you'll be on the mend with that soup before you know it!

Erin said...

That sounds perfect for the sniffles. I make an incredibly garlicy chicken soup with lemon and rice when I'm sick. So comforting. I'll have to try yours, the ginger would be so warm and comforting.

I hope you feel better soon!

Elra said...

Wonderful comforting soup.

melissa said...

I love ginger in chicken soup! Mine is a version with minced ginger, garlic, tomatoes, corn and leafy greens - it's almost vegetable soup but with a rich chicken stock and a little spice kick. It's perfect for colds & cold weather.

I'll have to try this one, cause I love orzo, too. yum.

oggi said...

The soup sounds delicious! Hope you'll get better in no time.:)

I do more than half of my Christmas shopping online, less stressful.

Marvin said...

Hope you're feeling better Joey, though I'm sure you are after eating a couple bowls of your healthful soup.

I wish I could see your leftover ideas as well. And I'm not entirely sure, but I think I have a recipe in Yummy this month as well.

Belinda said...

Awwww...poor Joey! I am so sorry you are under the weather. But if that ultra-healthy and comforting soup doesn't do the trick (along with some much needed REST) then the rum and mango route doesn't sound too bad! :-) Feel better soon, my friend.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mila! Thank you! Siiigh...you certainly called it! Lemon and calamansi so sound like great additions...especially for countering the sick feelings!

Hi Rosa! I will :)

Hi Ling! Thank you :) That sounds potent but effective!

Hi Manggy! Hahaha! I most certainly cannot! Thanks for cheering me up with the Batman line! ;)

Hi Patsyk! It does! Thanks!

Hi Erin! You soup sounds wonderful! We have a local chicken and rice soup here that has tons of garlic and ginger which is also very comforting :)

Hi Elra! It really is :)

Hi Melissa! You chicken soup with vegetables sounds fantastic...must try that one of these days too!

Hi Oggi! Thank you! Online shopping sounds blissfully peaceful :)

Hi Marvin! Thank you! Yes you do and what a pleasant surprise it was to see you in our local food mag! :)

Hi Belinda! Thank you :) Ah, a fellow rum and mango cocktail fan I see! ;)

Katrina said...

Sending you get-well vibes and rum-and-mango happiness, Joey! I had a cold till yesterday, too. The weird weather we continue to have doesn't help at all.

I was at Fully Booked yesterday but the November Yummy was still the one on display, Must check again soon.

veron said...

I could use a bowl of that yummy chicken soup. Haay....miss christmas in the Philippines...

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My Taste Heaven said...

that's a wonderful soup!

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Katrina! Very true...running in from the rain, sudden heat, air conditioners...a recipe for disaster! In FB Power Plant they already have the December issue :) Sadly, they still don’t have the December issue of Saveur which I have been wanting to buy!

Hi Veron! When will you be here next? :)

Hi Tennen Parman! Thanks for stopping by...will check it out :)

Hi My Taste Heaven! It really was :)

Lori said...

Sounds like a great soup when you aren't feeling your best. Get well soon!

I am off track with my Christmas shopping too. I enjoy it, but want to get it done soon and continue with enjoying the other perks of the season!

Suzana said...

Hope you're feeling better now, Joey. I was ill last week, and it's SOOOOOO boring. Chicken soup definitely brings immediate comfort!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Strange how good chicken soup really is so grand when we're feeling the rottens.
Hope things are getter better.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you about the homemade stock- it cannot be equaled. I just made a turkey cabbage soup (yep, you guessed it, leftovers from Thanksgiving) and with no spice besides homemade stock, salt and pepper, I had a soup more delicious than I've tasted in even the best NYC restaurants!

Hilary @ Smorgasbite

ChichaJo said...

Hi Lori! Thank you! I know exactly what you mean!

Hi Suzana! Thank you...I am although my throat is still bothering me :) Yes, chicken soup does comfort...and ginger too!

Hi Tanna! Heehee :) So true! Like it is the most amazing thing in the whole world and my goodness how can those pharma companies be making katrillions when I’ve got the answer right here??? ;)

Hi Hilary! Yes, definitely, homemade stock rules! :) And so does making winning dishes out of leftovers ;)

Jescel said...

i hate shopping the last minute, but somehow, i find myself in the same dilemma year after year. though here in the US, giftcards help a lot, and it's my last resort for last minute gifts! :o)
Anyways, chicken soup always does the trick when we're not feeling well. hope you feel better soon.

Cinnamonda said...

Lovely soup!

Paz said...

I recently made a soup with orzo in it. It was really good. I KNOW your chicken soup was delicious.

Feel better, dear Joey.

Wishing you all the best,

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Jescel! I am feeling better :) Oh boy...I really have to get cracking on that Christmas list!

Thanks Cinnamonda!

Thank you Paz! Isn't orzo great? :) I am now looking for even more ways to use it (if you have any I'm all ears!)!

Sujan Patricia said...

Yummy! I love soup. You should too.

I made chicken the other night and had plenty of leftovers. I just wasn't in the mood to make a chicken casserole like Chicken Divan. Instead, I opted for Cream of Chicken Soup. Recipe is below -

Cream of Chicken Soup

1/2 stick butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup flour
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons half and half or cream
Pinch of cayenne or ancho pepper

ChichaJo said...

Hi Sujan Patricia! Thanks for the recipe...sounds yummy!

ravisingh said...

I am curious to know if anyone has used this recipe for an extended amount of time

Paul Bristol said...

Excellent recipe. Thank you.
My wife is Italian and makes a chicken soup English style but with an Italian flavour.
Some extra garlic, a touch of spices and some herbs etc. Delicious""

ChichaJo said...

Hi Paul! That does sound delicious :)