It's winter flu and cold season and chances are if you don't have at least a case of the "snuffles" yet, you or someone you know is going to get them. One of the best weapons to have in your winter wellness arsenal is a good homemade chicken soup recipe. My Mom alerted me to one called Elephants' "Cure" in the food section of her local paper that comes from a popular local delicatessen. With me being slightly stuffed up this week and the cooler weather here, it seemed like the perfect time to try it.
The Oregonian FOODday says: "For centuries, chicken soup has been a trusted home remedy to fight colds and flu, and though science has never nailed down its exact medicinal value, there are some things we know: Warm stock helps ward off chills; its vapors help loosen nasal and respiratory congestion; and it's an easy way to get some calories and nutrients into your system when your appetite is droopy. One of the most soothing chicken soups around is Elephants' "Cure," a rich and spicy broth that's loaded with ginger, garlic, lemon grass and serrano chiles, a potent blend of ingredients that have known curative powers. "There's no real proof that chicken soup can cure the common cold," says Scott Weaver, the executive chef of Elephants Delicatessen, where Elephants' "Cure" is on the menu throughout the winter and available in the freezer case year-round. "But there is proof that a lot of these ingredients that are in here can help your immune system."Like the serranos, which are loaded with vitamin C. Or garlic, which has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, and helps fight cholesterol and high blood pressure."And there's just something about chicken," Weaver says. "It's something you grew up with. Your mother probably made it, so it takes you back. It's a real comfort thing, and when you're sick and miserable you want something that's soothing and comforting."The ample use of ginger and lemon grass gives Elephants' "Cure" a hint of Asian flavors, evoking the spicy Thai soups that take the sting out of a sore throat. It's a nod to the global reach of chicken soup, which spans continents and cultures."
You can find the recipe at the Oregonian site here and you can also find their recipe for chicken stock there too.
Elephants' Cure Chicken Soup
Scott Weaver, executive chef, Elephants Delicatessen
Oregonian FOODday, January 12, 2010
(Makes 19 cups)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced medium carrots
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
1 1/2 cups diced fresh celery
3 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
3/4 cup peeled, julienned fresh ginger
1/2 cup minced fresh lemon grass
1/2 cup minced garlic
14 cups canned reduced-sodium broth or homemade chicken stock
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
Cooked shredded chicken reserved from making broth, approximately 3 cups
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot set over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, onion, celery, chiles, ginger and lemon grass. Sauté vegetables for 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 5 minutes more.
Add stock and bring to a boil. Add thyme and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add cooked chicken and simmer just until it is heated through. Add cilantro, chopped parsley and salt and serve.
PER CUP: calories: 165 (40% from fat); protein: 12.4 grams; total fat: 7.4 grams; saturated fat: 1.5 grams; cholesterol: 26.7 mg; sodium: 287 mg; carbohydrate: 12.1 grams; dietary fiber: 1.1 grams
Notes/Results: The just slightly spicy combination of my homemade chicken stock, garlic, ginger, serrano chiles and lemongrass is delicious with nicely layered flavors for a relatively quickly made soup. I wanted some noodles to make it that much more comforting so I added some of these whole grain spinach noodles (there is no reason you can't have comfort and good fiber at the same time!). I made a half batch of the soup--19 cups seemed a bit much, and I put in two serrano chiles, but next time I might add another just to raise the heat level a bit more because I like it that way. Two bowls of Elephants' "Cure" and I was feeling better and less stuffy so this one is a keeper and good enough to eat even when you are healthy.
Let's see who is in the Souper Sunday kitchen this week:
My sister from another mother Natashya at Living in the Kitchen with Puppies was also feeling the benefits from a bowl of chickeny-noodle goodness with this Thai Chicken (Noodle) Soup. She says, "Martha Stewart Living featured an article on the Power of Chicken Soup this month, with many great varieties of this ultimate comfort food. The only thing missing? Noodles. Well, that's easily rectified.This soup is deliciously fragrant and soothing to the soul. I recommend two bowls."
Joanne from Eats Well With Others is here this week with a hearty gorgeous dish. Joanne says, "Lamb with Pumpkin and Apricots - is a stew from La Goulette, the capital of Tunisia. It combines the tartness of dried apricots with the sweetness of butternut squash to produce an exquisitely flavored dish. The best part, though, was imagining that while I was eating it, that there were potentially people halfway around the world who were doing the exact same thing."
After laboring over crackers and then a loaf of bread, Danielle at Cooking For My Peace of Mind needed a quick and easy soup to go with it. She says, "I made this loaf this morning before I went to work. 90 minutes rise time, 30 minutes cooking time. My plan? To serve it with a nice bowl of Garam Masala Cream Soup...which is so quick and easy...done in 30 minutes...can't beat that!"
Donna at My Tasty Treasures made this "simple Escarole and Beans Soup. Adapted a bit from Giada. I love how easy this soup it, I enjoy the taste, and it has quite a dose of healthiness too. A delicious, comforting, healthy bowl of soup. I enjoy it most with some crusty bread to sop it all up. Simply wonderful!"
Here with two soups this week is Kait from Pots and Plots. First up her Creamy Potato Leek Soup. She says, "In an effort to make a meatless meal my husband would actually eat, I decided to make a variation of my original Potato Leek Soup. The original is tasty and light, but I wanted something with more of a creamy texture. Adding half a block of cream cheese certainly did the trick! Hubby declared this one a winner, and at 358 calories and 10.6 grams of fat per serving, I have to concur!"
Next is her Smoky Chicken Chili. Kate says, "This one’s been on my To Try list for several months now. Someone tweeted it ages back, and I bookmarked it on Delicious. I made a few adaptations to the recipe based on what I had on hand and changed it over to a crock pot recipe (which cut out a bit of the fat as there was no need to saute anything in olive oil). I haven’t had the original version, but I loved it as prepared."
Graziana from Erbe in Cucina has a healthy Steamed Vegetable Salad with Thai Seasoning to share this week. She says, "It's always satisfying to prepare my homemade Thai Curry Paste with my homegrown herbs and try new recipes with it. This simple recipe uses the red paste, with chilies, herbs and spices, it's light and tasty."
Some great soups and a healthy veggie salad--a little something for everyone this week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.
Have a wonderful week!