Even though winter’s winding down, we keep encountering folks who have that ‘change of seasons’ flu- especially here in the northeast right now. It seems the timing is perfect for this soup recipe sent to us by Kathy Larson, Frontier’s VP of Sustainability and Education. It might be just what’s needed if you’re battling the blahs while waiting for spring.
by Kathy Larson
Some years ago while we were in the city shopping, I started getting a sore throat, feeling achy and blah. We had planned to eat supper before going home but I was looking forward to getting home and wrapping up in a warm blanket with a cup of tea. However, my husband really wanted to stop at a Thai restaurant that was on our way home, so thinking perhaps some hot soup would be good, I agreed.
I got a hot, spicy and brothy soup with cilantro, mushrooms, onions, chili peppers and other goodies at the bottom of my bowl. I like spicy foods, but this was just at the limit of comfortable eating and I remember taking careful spoonful after spoonful to avoid coughing. Soon I was sweating and panting a bit but I cleaned up every drop of that tasty soup because it just felt healing. And the best thing was that the next day, I felt healed!
Ever since, when I start getting that achy, sore throat feeling I make a hot, gingery soup that always warms me up and makes me feel better. I vary this soup depending what I have on hand, as I usually am making it when I can’t plan ahead.
Magic Chicken Soup
1 small chicken (or 2# deboned, skinless chicken pieces)
Water to cover and cook chicken (2 to 3 quarts)
3 bay leaves
2 to 4 whole red chilies
2 large onions, chopped
1 cup chopped carrot
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp tamari
1 2-inch pieces of fresh ginger, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp parsley flakes
3 cups bok choy or other Chinese cabbage, chopped
juice of one lemon
Garnish: 2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaf chopped
Place the chicken, bay leaf, chili peppers and astragalus in a large soup pot, cover with water and cook until tender (about an hour). Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Rinse shiitakes under cool water to remove any grit, then place in a small bowl and cover the mushrooms with hot water to soften (15 minutes). Add onion, celery, carrot, tamari and drained, chopped mushrooms to stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove chicken from the bone and add it along with the garlic, ginger and parsley flakes to the soup and continue simmering another five minutes. Add bok choy and lemon, stir well, taste and adjust seasonings if desired. If soup is not as spicy as you would like, add cayenne ¼ tsp at a time. Serve piping hot and garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.
Kathy says: I also make this soup without chicken and add chicken broth powder to the veggies while they are cooking to get a richer broth.
We’d love to hear about your magic soup recipes!