Mama Gigi’s Get Well Soup
OK, it’s not a prescription. It is cold-weather comfort: help warm your insides or the person you care about feel better and it goes well with a generous helping of classical music.
My definition of “chopped”: Fits comfortably into your mouth as part of the mix on your spoon. No too big-hot chunks, please! This is all about, you know, comfort.
Amounts depend on the size of your soup pot and your own taste. Taste often while you cook! You could have this ready in an hour or with the chicken, give it an hour and a half. Leaving it to simmer for three or four hours will improve everything.
Olive oil: pour a thin couple of circles.
One to two chopped onions. For an anti-onion person, use celery.
Some chopped carrots.
Chopped mushrooms. I prefer shitake & oyster, but whatever you’ve got.
A chopped red pepper is lovely; green if you want a more dominant flavor.
If you want sweetness: corn. Same for chopped white sweet potato or yam.
A few cloves of garlic – pressed or chopped. Be generous. It’s a get-well soup!
A few generous chunks of ginger; Sliced to open the insides and leave husks so it’s recognizable—you want to know if you’re about to bite into ginger!
Turmeric: Fresh is best if you can get it. Slice it like the ginger or use powder. Judiciously submit. Turns the soup a beautiful golden color!
Black pepper to taste.
Dill: no such thing as too much! Minced fresh or crushed dry.
Add a little thyme.
Water to cover.
Garnish: minced parsley or cilantro.
This can be a chicken soup. I prefer dark meat—skinned thighs are easiest; legs are, too, but hard to skin, and that skin adds a lot of fat. You could use a whole chicken and remove the breast to make into salad a day or two later.
If it’s a vegetarian soup, add white beans, already-cooked from a can or two. Remember to rinse! And/or precooked rice. If you put in raw rice, or raw potatoes, watch the water level! They will absorb water and turn this into stew if you’re not careful, so make sure to keep water level high.
How to assemble:
Fry the onions and carrots, and if you’re using mushrooms, those too.
Add the chicken if you’re using that, and the rest of your veggies. But NOT the chunks of ginger, garlic and turmeric, and the crushed/minced herbs: hold these until after it boils.
Pour water over all of this to cover generously: fill ¾ of your pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot so everything can move around, turn heat high, and let it all boil. Once it’s boiling, skim if you want to, then add the herbs, ginger, turmeric and garlic. Finally, turn heat to low, stir, cover, and wait for it all to turn into soup.
Taste often. Salt if you want it, or wait for your eaters to salt each bowl to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro.
To your health!