mandag den 2. november 2009

Chicken soup for a sore throat - or heart

So, it seems like I can't get out of bed this time. From my being ill, that is. An ordinary flu has developed into a throat virus, which has robbed me of my voice completely. It's a weird experience for someone who talks as much as I do. My brother - who I'm living with at the moment, due to bathroom renovation at my house - seems to, as Depeche Mode says, enjoy the silence. And my mother describes my laugh as sounding like a small dog. And my dad isn't too keen on speaking with me on the phone, since he thinks I sound like my grandmother did in the days before she died. So as you can imagine, I feel a bit lonely in all my muteness.

Somewhere between reading my new shipment of cook books from Amazon - I'll tell you about them later - and watching Rachael Ray and Oprah I decided to make a chicken soup for dinner. Not a classic Danish one with meatballs and flour dumplings like my maternal grandmother used to serve up when I was little, but a Kristine chicken soup. Something for my throat as well as my heart. Something to fill my body with warmth much needed in these crappy November days where the sun doesn't seem to come out at all and where the heavens open up and release rain and nearly snow upon us.

On my favourite food website,, I found a recipe for gingered chicken soup, but since it seems a bit too much like a broth, I decided to beef it up a bit. Here's my result:

Kind to your throat chicken soup
For the chicken:
4 chicken upper thighs
Whole peppercorns
1 small onion
1 small carrot
5 cm peeled ginger

For the soup:
250 grams of brow button mushrooms
8 spring onions
100 grams of bean sprouts
8 cm peeled ginger
1 lime
Freshly ground black pepper
Chicken or vegetable stock

Cut the onion in halve, the carrot into three pieces and the ginger into 4-5 big chunks and place them in a pot with the chicken, peppercorns and salt. Fill up with water until it comes about 2 cm's above the chicken. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile rinse the vegetables, finely slice the mushrooms and spring onions and put aside. Finely grate the ginger and pound together with a little rock salt in a pestle and mortar.

When the chicken is cooked drain the pieces and leave to cool a bit. Drain the liquid and skim as much of the surface fat as possible. Pick the meat from the chicken bones and rip or cut it into to bitesize pieces.

Heat a little oil in your favourite soup pot and shortly fry the mushrooms. Add the cooking liquid, but be sure to stop pouring before you reach the grubby stuff on the bottom. Pour another half or whole litre water and some chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and add the chicken pieces and the ginger.

Now roll the lime fruit so you release the juices inside - if you don't do this, buying limes a pretty much a waste of money and effort. Press the juices into the soup and taste with pepper and salt. When you're satisfied wih flavour, add the spring onion and the bean sprouts and serve up. If you're feeling particularly hungry, or is serving the soup for a man with a healthy appetite, you could add some noodles or serve with crusty bread. And if you're serving it for a Mexican, throw in a little chilli.

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