There's nothing better than chicken soup to soothe a cold. My Aunty Lan believes it, my mum believed it and I do too.
It doesn't have to be a fancy-pants sort of soup - mine certainly isn't - but it does have to provide one thing... COMFORT in capital letters, for that's the one major thing anyone who has a cold needs. Then comes WARMTH and RELIEF.
I made this last week for my aunt, who had a cold and I made it again for myself this afternoon because I was craving it. Who says you have to have soup only when you're ill?
It's lovely eaten on its own or with plain rice. It's especially good on a cold, rainy day (we've been having a lot of those lately) with the peppercorns adding bites of heat in the mild soup.
Every family has a comfort soup like this. What's yours?
CHICKEN SOUP - my way
1 small Fresh Chicken (whole)
2.5 litres Water
2 inches fresh Ginger (sliced)
6 cloves Garlic (crushed)
1 medium Red Onion (sliced)
1 Carrot (cubed)
2 medium-sized Potatoes (cubed)
20 Black Peppercorns (whole)
Pinch of Turmeric
Coriander (finely chopped)
Salt to taste
Wash the Chicken. Remove fat and skin. Cut away as much of the meat as possible, leaving only a little on the bones. Wash the bones and set aside. (It is the bones that you will be using.)
Put a pot large enough for the soup on medium fire. Put in Ginger, Garlic and Onions. Heat through until you get a fragrant smell.of spices. Do not let it burn. Add Water, Bones, Carrot, Potatoes and Peppercorns. Add Turmeric.
Cover the pot three-quarters of the way with a lid and boil for 1 hour, skimming any impurities that may rise to the surface.
Salt to taste. Remove from fire and sprinkle the coriander on top. Serve hot.