Friday, 2 March 2012
The Rumbly Tummy: Soup, beautiful soup!
I love making soup. Have I told you that before?
Oh...I guess I have.
Well, anyway, my latest creation turned out so well I felt compelled to share it with you, so that you, in turn, would be compelled to make it yourself. Cuz it's damned good, friends. And healthy. And addictive.
D, like many men, is programmed to only shop in bulk. This means he buys entire trays of chicken and dumps them in the freezer, without separating them first. Which means I end up thawing 6-8 giant bone-in breasts at once. I am not a big chicken fan to begin with, and so I season and roast half of Chickie Chick for supper and lunches, and have to be creative with the other half. And this, my friends, usually means SOUP, glorious soup!
As I surveyed the frozen Chickie triplets on the counter, wishing yet again that someone would invent a way to prepare raw meat without actually having to touch it, my inner chef nudged me.
"Hey," she whispered, "it's all rotten and rainy out. Don't you feel like some nice, hot chicken soup? You know, like Nana used to make? With noodles and stuff?"
I made a frowny "Hmmmm" face and looked outside. It was a gross, damp day. The sky was the colour of old socks and the last brave clumps of snow were losing a valiant battle against the mud. Soup, eh?
"Plus," continued Inner Chef, "you can just slide that nasty raw chicken into the pot. You won't even have to touch it."
Inner Chef always knows how to convince me. So that, dear reader, is what I did, along with carrots, onion, garlic, celery and a bay leaf or two. Plus salt and pepper. Plus ginger and lemon. And I simmered the heck out of it for about an hour, until the chicken started to pop off the bone nicely.
Once the broth was done and Chickie was cooked, I strained everything and began to rummage, slice and dice. This is what I came up with:
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, thickly sliced
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 hunk of fresh ginger, thickly sliced
I threw all that chopped up goodness in my soup pot and sauted it in about two tablespoons of coconut oil, my new favourite cooking tool. It smells and tastes divine, is supposed to be antibacterial and you can rub it on your chapped winter hands afterward.
The smells that filled my kitchen were indescribably lovely. Inner Chef agreed. And pointed to my spice cabinet. "Forget the noodles. That coconut makes me want turmeric. And curry. And cumin. And lots of it!"
The measurements went something like this:
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
1 dash cayenne powder
I stirred that into the veggies for about a minute, until the fragrances became so heady that I almost fainted into my soup pot from sheer bliss. I topped everything up with the broth and a bit of water, giving myself an accidental curried facial. Then I checked the cupboards.
"Ooh, yeah," purred Inner Chef.
"Why the hell not?" said Inner Chef.
"I thought you'd never ask," sighed Inner Chef.
And so my coconut curry chicken soup was born. Topped with lime, chopped green onion and cilantro, it's dreamy. I served it over basmati rice for supper and even D, an avowed anti-curry-ite, ate it and approved.
It's incredible that something as disgusting as raw Chickie can turn into something so profoundly yummy. Thanks, Inner Chef. And thanks, Chickie.
PS: I ate it all before I thought to take a photo, but this image is pretty close, if you don't count the noodles.