Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Sickness Chichen Soup

I make this in batches. It's comforting for the body and the spirit and perfect for illness/stressed out times/long and cold winter nights spent working. My children wouldn't dream of having the flu without this, and to be honest neither would the man of the house :p So of recent I've made soo much of this I don't even need to look at the recipe any more. Here goes - I hope it brings as much warmth to your heart as it brings to mine.

400g chicken wings
3 litres of water
1 leek
1 onion
1 carrot
4 sticks of celery
3 nests of dry rice noodles (you can use rice if you prefer)
1 cup of peas, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger 

Wash the chicken wings reeeally well with hot water. Put them in a large saucepan and add the onion cut in half (with the skin still on), the carrot and the celery. Cover with the water and get boiling. I boil this for about 4 hours, but you can probably make do with 2.

Fish the chicken and the vegetables out and set the pot (covered) out of the window (or in the fridge). You can choose to chop the vegetables up in tiny dice and and add it back to the broth or not. I normally add the celery and the onion and thow away the carrot, but it's up to you. Shread the meat off half the chichen wings and cut it in fairly small pieces. 

Cut the leek into small stripes (the smaller the pieces the better). Take the broth out of the fridge (make sure it's been at least half an hour) and remove the fat from the top. It's going to look like a layer of yellowish foam floating above the broth. Yes, it's gross but think that if you take it out you won't have to eat that. I pick it out with my hands but if you're squeamish you can just use a spoon. 

Add the leaks, the vegetables (if you're adding them) and the peas and let the whole thing boil up for an extra half hour, at which point add the chicken bits and the noodles. Season with the salt and the ginger. To make this children-friendly (and let's face it, I'm not too bright either when I have the flu and still need to work) break the noodles down into sections of a couple of inches each. Boil up for 5 minutes (ot however long your noodles require) and serve nice and hot in big bowls. 

An alternative version of this has fresh egg noodles and yellow peppers and leek instead of the boiled vegetables (it's the Man's favourite). 

St down in front of some TV (bad TV for you, BBC Life for the kids) dig your spoon into the delicious simple nutritioness of the broth and enjoy!!!

ps. If your kids are too too sick to keep down solid food, the simple broth is perfect. Don't add anything to it, and leave it in the fridge for much longer before taking the fat off (it will allow for more fat to come to the surface and therefor eit will be lighter and easier to digest). It's delicious, nutritious and is very very likely to stay down and calm down even the most upset of stomachs. 

What is YOUR favourite sickness/comfort food? Let me know in the comments below!

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