Under the weather? This soup will make you feel like a kung fu master!
Oh, how I’ve missed you, Revelers! The past several days have been just miserable. I’ve been hiding out, struggling against an excess of muck either stuck inside or coming out of the various holes in my head. When my mother called to say hello the other day, I was still in bed.
“Hello?” I said, sounding a little too much like Andre the Giant.
This, of course, freaked my mom out.
Mom: “wwWhat’s wrong!? Where are you? Are you okay?
Me: “I’b ok, mob. I’b juss sick”
Mom: “[Gasp!] Aiya. You poor thing! Can I come over? Let me make you some SOUP!”
I don’t know about you, but when I start to get sick I pretend nothing is wrong and hope it just goes away.
If When that fails, I crawl under a rock and avoid human interaction. No talk, no touch, no eye contact. I hate being asked what’s wrong. It sounds like a list of why I’m a weenie, to which people are obliged to have a concerned and sympathetic response.
(If you are my mother, please do not read this next part… Thank you.)
So… it’s kind of nice when your mom reacts as if it’s the most dramatic thing in the world that you have a cold. Under normal circumstances I hate being babied by my mom. If she sees a sign of weakness, she comes in for the kill (I’m not kidding, a few years ago she got me on her lap somehow, then tried to rock me like a baby! I’m still traumatized). My sisters and I have learned to shut down the mush the second we see it coming. However, in this particular instance, I saved the drama for my mama.
I hadn’t slept well in days and was rotting under a pile of snotty tissues. I needed some chicken soup. And my mom.
Mom showed up at my door with a pitcher of magical broth, and enough takeout to feed 10 people. She plopped me down on the sofa with a steaming hot mug. When I inhaled, the nourishing vapor caressed my beaten up sinuses. As I sipped and sipped and refilled, my whole body charged up like a battery. Copper top.
Did it cure me? Not exactly, but the more I drank, the better I felt. It made me feel miraculously stronger and more alert. I was human again!
Any time mom hears a friend or family member is sick or recovering, she goes straight for the soup pot. It’s an old school kind of a thing, but it makes you feel so loved and cared for drinking it. Mom jokes that every soup recipe in her old Chinese cookbooks claims to help an endless list of ailments. Basically, if anything is wrong with you, the soup is good for it. But, the real secret to why it makes you feel better is the love and good wishes that were put in.
Recipe: Mom’s Chinese Miracle Vitality Chicken Soup
This soup is nourishing, warming, and delicious. I promise it will make you feel so much better. Apples may seem a bit unusual, but their fresh flavor and touch of sweetness compliment the savory ingredients wonderfully. Dried tangerine peel can be found at Asian markets, and lends distinctive warm citrus fragrance and faint bitterness to the soup. The amount of water listed is a guideline. You can use more or less depending on how concentrated you like the soup. The spent solids are strained after the soup has cooked, leaving you a flavorful broth to cozy up with, no spoons required.
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
1 section (about 2-inches long) fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 6 slices
3 medium daikon radishes, peeled, cut into large chunks
3 carrots, peeled, cut into large chunks
3 stalks celery, cut into large chunks
2 medium Fuji apples, peeled, seeded, cut into large chunks
2 sections (each about 1 ½-inches long) dried tangerine peel (optional, but recommended)
Special Equipment: Large stock pot (8 quart capacity or more), fine mesh sieve.
Fill a large stock pot with 16 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add all ingredients and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 4 hours, adding water as necessary to maintain original amount of liquid. Season with salt to taste.
Strain the soup through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down on solids to extract their liquid. Discard solids. Serve hot.
- Common Ingredients (chinesesouppot.com)
- Cold remedies: What works, what doesn’t, what can’t hurt (mayoclinic.com)
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