Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Soup fixes all that ails you

I began my day with this email to my girlfriends. It was an update on my morning:
- I almost fell 3 times on the way to work.
- 2 separate cars almost backed into me because people can't see out of their rearview mirror.
- I might, maybe if the gods are finally smiling down on me, I might be getting sick. 3 days of having Boyfriend breathe on me, stealing sips from his cup, and "accidentally" using his toothbrush are finally paying off.
- It's snowing...again.

Outside, the snow is falling on the street as if a giant was sifting powdered sugar all over the city. Boyfriend is in bed with the flu. It's not fun when Boyfriend gets sick; he gets all grumpy and quiet. Ordinarily, I'd be cranky as hell right now but there's something magical about a warm and hearty soup that helps to shake it all off. I tell myself that I made the soup for Boyfriend but I know he won't actually eat it. He doesn't like to eat when he's sick. Deep down, I made the soup for my soul if not his body.

On the offchance that Boyfriend will take the container out of the refrigerator and put some soup in a pot then put that pot on a stove, I loaded the soup up with plenty of protein and garlic. The protein, in my own little world, will help build strength so that he can fight off his flu. Garlic is loaded with germanium and selenium which are sulfur-rich antioxidants that boost the immune system. It just occurred to me that by eating my own soup, I probably just undid the last 3 days' worth of effort to get sick. Damn.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
3 cups chicken stock (I used the ham stock in my freezer - sue me)
3 cups water
1 chicken breast
1/8 cup wild rice
4 cloves of garlic, smashed (you can use less if you don't have a sick man at home)
1/2 onion, big chunks
1 potato, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 carrots, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup frozen peas
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 cup cream or whole milk
salt to taste, it also depends on the stock you use

Bring the broth, water, bay leaf, garlic and onion up to a boil. Let it simmer for 45 minutes, even an hour. You want to boil the hell out of that garlic and make sure all of its good germanium and selenium gets infused into the broth. While it is simmering, poach the chicken. Remove the chicken after about 7 minutes. After 45 minutes, strain the broth and return the broth to the pot. To the broth, add the carrots, potatoes, and rice and boil until they are tender. Dice the chicken breast and add it to the simmering broth. Add the peas to the soup. Add the cream to the simmering soup. If you want it thicker, you can always make a slurry out of 1 tbs cornstarch and 2 tbs of water. Add the slurry to the boiling soup and stir rapidly. It should thicken it considerably. If it's still not thick enough, make another slurry and add it to the soup. Check the soup for seasoning and adjust the salt as necessary.

Serve it hot to a sick loved one or enjoy it alone in front of the TV. Both will make you feel good.

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