Here we are heading into April with its "April Showers" and, yes, I know April showers bring May flowers and things like that, (and what do May flowers bring??* - whoops! I'm channeling my dad, sorry!), but what April showers really seem to bring is cold season! ACHEW!! (I'm sneezing just thinking about it.)
Aside from my mom's wonderful ginger-honey-lemon tea, the thing I appreciate most when I have a cold is a bowl of chicken soup. Sure, it's probably psychological. I mean, American culture has been telling me my whole life that chicken soup makes you feel better, but I've bought in to that theory, and so it does! Warm broth, fresh veggies, protein, everything you need to get your strength back, and it always makes me feel loved (even if I made it for myself - it's important to love oneself, no?).
Culture Factoid: Whereas American culture holds that soup (and chicken soup particularly) helps heal, the French believe that soup helps you grow. Children are always being told to eat their soup, the French equivalent of "eat your veggies" so they'll grow up strong.
So, as promised, here's my recipe for chicken soup, so you can use all that wonderful stock you've been making!
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2-1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp sage
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
5-6 cups stock/canned broth/water with bouillon cube
1 cup roast chicken cut into bite-sized pieces (I just use leftovers from roast chicken, but you can also buy raw chicken and cook it in the soup. Add it at the beginning a minute or so after the veggies.)
salt, pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a pot. Peel, chop and add the onions and carrots. Cook until onions start to go clear (2-3min). Add the curry powder, sage and garlic and stir another minute or two. Add the stock, canned broth or water and bouillon and bring to a boil. Peel, chop and add the potatoes and chicken. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.
This soup is especially good the next day, once it's had time to sit and soak up the flavors.
For the VEGETARIAN version, use vegetable stock, and try adding pasta, or rice and/or a mix of other veggies to the soup: mushrooms (at the beginning with the onions and carrots), peppers (same), corn (with the potatoes), etc.
*Um, pilgrims... (Go ahead, groan.)