If you are unfortunate enough to have suffered or are suffering from the nasty cold that is currently going around, here are a couple of simple soup recipes, which whilst won’t fix the cold, they will help to make you feel better and put some goodness into you, as well as helping towards your five a day!
GREEN GOODNESS POWER SOUP
Head of brocolli
Bag of baby spinach
Head of celery
Peas – fresh or frozen, doesn’t matter
Ready or home made chicken and or vegetable stock (I use a mix of both)
Clove or two of garlic
You will need a large saucepan and a hand mixer or blender
In a large frying pan fry off the onion(s) in a small amount of olive oil, just to soften rather than colour. Roughly chop the broccoli (neatness doesn’t matter as all the ingredients will be mushed later on), chuck it in the pan.
Once softened, add the peas and the chicken and vegetable stocks. Boil to soften the peas, if fresh, then add the baby spinach. Let this soften and wilt then turn off the heat and let it cool for a while.
When cooler, use a hand mixer to mush it all up to a consistency you like. I make mine reasonably course. This is a real power soup and will help your immune system cope with the nasty cold.
I put a portion in a bowl and microwave it for a minute or two.
JEWISH PENICILLIN – The ultimate comfort soup
Chicken soup, known fondly as Jewish penicillin, is widely known as the cure for everything from coughs and colds to broken hearts. Every Jewish family will have its own take on this recipe, here are my two versions. Whilst using a whole chicken will feed a family for days, I prefer to use the second recipe utiising the carcass of a previously roasted bird.
The best you can buy chicken, I get mine from a local farmer
Few sticks celery
Couple of springs of thyme
2 Bay leaves
2 Cloves of garlic
Chicken stock – your own, packet or cube. The best ones are kosher, if you can get them
You will need a large pot big enough to take the chicken and water.
After washing the chicken thoroughly, pop it into the pot with enough water it and bring to the boil. Skim off any frothy scum, lower the heat and simmer for thirty minutes.
Add the chopped vegetables, including the tomato, with the thyme, stock and bay leaves, bring back to the boil and skim off any fatty froth and reserve, if making matzo balls (see below). Simmer for one hour.
Remove the chicken from the soup and allow to cool until you can handle it enough to remove the meat from the bones. Pop the meat back into the soup and then I use my hand mixer to mush this all up, although it can be left ‘as is’.
Noodles and or matzo balls can be added to the soup before putting the chicken meat back in. Jewish noodles (lokshen) or spaghetti can be added, or matzo balls, which are matzo crackers mushes to a powder or matzo meal mixed with 4 tablespoons of the chicken fat gleaned from the poaching liquor, 2 large egss mixed with 140 gms matzo meal. Mix well and pop into the fridge for half an hour. When cool, ball into around twenty balls which will increase in size during the cooking process, simmering them in the soup mixture for twenty minutes or so.
The ingredients are the same except use a chicken carcass from a previously roasted bird.
Boil the carcass in water with a carrot, a celery stick, a tomato (adds a nice colour to the stock, onion, bay leaf and a couple of thyme springs. Bring to the boil and simmer for twenty minutes or so.
Allow to cool slightly and discard all veggies but retain the carcass until cold enough to pick off any remaining meat.
Follow method above although if using matzo balls, you will have to improvise with the chicken fat unless you were organised enough to retain any from the original roasting.
Again, I mush mine using a hand mixer, but of course, this can be left ‘as is’.
This soup, however made, is a true comfort food of the highest order – hunker down on the sofa, wrap yourself in a lovely throw, a bit of telly and a bowl of this soup – fantastic!