Chicken Soup

It’s been quiet here lately. Not “here” in my life, but here in this blog. I suppose the inactivity over here is due to it being anything but quiet everywhere else. Crunch time at work is having me ask Santa for more hours in the day instead of that ice cream maker that I have been eyeing.

Also, with the Christmas shopping season in full frenetic swing, we are rushing to make our bags fast enough to satisfy the orders that are coming in! Which of course is a very good thing :) More bags sold means less plastic bags being used! Yay!

Which brings me to my own Christmas shopping, with which I am dangerously falling behind, despite ardent promises to “start early this year, really”.

I’m not even going to go into the alarming size of my laundry pile.

And, as if it wasn’t enough that all my waking moments were spoken for, I’ve started dreaming about charts, graphs, outlines, and unanswered emails!

So, despite valiant resistance, I’ve fallen under the weather. Nothing serious...just a scratchy throat and achy bones and general “unwell” feeling. But enough, coupled with all of the above, to leave me little time to come over here and chat.

My foolproof solution to this bout with the sniffles would be a vacation of course, somewhere sunny with no cars or worries – just a hammock, a nice breeze, and ten good books...and lots of yummy things to eat and cocktails involving both rum and mango. Unfortunately, that’s just not in the cards right now so I’ve had to go with the next best thing – Chicken Soup.

Chicken Soup with Orzo and Ginger
(adapted from Donna Hay’s Chicken, Risoni, and Herb Soup, Donna Hay Magazine, issue 41 page 62)

  • 1 liter chicken stock
  • 10-20 grams ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 100 grams orzo
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
  • The leaves from 3-4 sprigs of cilantro

- Place stock and ginger in saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Add orzo and cooked as per package directions (10-12 minutes) or until al dente.
- Add chicken and cook for a further minute or so until the chicken is warmed through.
- Take off heat and stir through the cilantro.
- Serves two.

Nothing hits the spot when you’re feeling all sniffly-ill like chicken noodle soup. This is my version adapted from a Donna Hay recipe I spotted in her last issue. I’ve loved orzo (which is pretty much the same thing as risoni I think) since I first had it in lamb youvetsi so I was excited to use it in a different way. I added ginger to the soup because, at least in my sparse medical knowledge, ginger is the best thing ever for a scratchy throat (I also brew a wickedly strong ginger infusion, salabat in Filipino, when I have a sore throat). Plus, there is just something about ginger in soup that makes me feel like I am already getting better.

This is simple and requires minimum fuss to make...making it perfect for someone who is not feeling well enough to prepare a meal. It will serve two people on a rainy night or one sick person for a day (returning to the pot from lunch to dinner), perhaps with some toast. My only advice would be to use the best chicken stock you have since there is not much else in the soup. I don’t use homemade stock in every single recipe that calls for it, but this would definitely be all the more curative for using an excellent homemade stock. I used a batch I had made one lazy Sunday from two roast chicken carcasses I had stashed away in my freezer. The shredded chicken I added to the soup was leftover from another roast chicken – yet another way to use leftovers!

That’s all for now – I’m back to work filled with vitamins and chicken soup. Hopefully that will be enough to get me through the day!

Don’t think I have forgotten about HHDD #24: Pesto! I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Some news: If you’re in the Philippines and would like to see some of my ideas for your Christmas meal leftovers, I’ve put together some dishes with that in mind for Yummy Magazine’s December 2008 newsstands now! Also, although this is a bit late, I’ve written all about my neighbourhood market for the November 2008 issue of Homestyle Magazine...if you are curious and can still find it, have a peek! :)