A Simple Chicken Soup Versus Man ‘Flu
My Nonna made the best chicken soup. Clear golden broth with stelline (little star) pasta, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top. Heaven! Nonna’s chicken soup was the starter to all the larger family dinners, and a joy to eat, but if you were feeling poorly -well her soup was enough to make you feel better! I wish I could share Nonna’s recipe with you, but when I used to ask her about recipes the conversation would go like this. “How much water Nonna?” “You know lovey, enough”. “How much celery Nonna?” “Whatever you think is right lovey.” Hmmm. Frustrating for one who likes precision and order (insert control freak, I know you want to) To be honest there were other recipes which I persisted with, but somehow I always thought there would be more time to learn how to make her soup. Nonna cooked from her heart, from instinct, from memory and because she had been cooking for all of her life. My attempts to make chicken soup in the past have been dismally disappointing – from scratch I ended up with a broth that was not flavoursome but fatty. My goal this year is to talk with Mum and Dad and Zia and see what they can tell me about Nonna’s soup – I’ll keep you posted!
So the link with chicken soup and feeling better is strong, so when Ted woke up a few weeks ago with a sore throat and a heavy head,this soup came to mind. It has been adapted from a Donna Hay recipe (sorry I could not find a link to an electronic version, but trust me – my add ins make this version better.) This Chicken Miso soup is light and nourishing, and between the heat of the ginger and the soup, you are on your way to letting some toxins out of your system. This is a really lovely thing to take to someone with a cold (or man flu) as it is easily transported, simple to swallow, and just makes the recipient feel better. I made some yesterday – hope it worked a treat Liz and Lucy!
Simple ingredients – some stock, green onions, fresh ginger miso paste and chicken breast. You can use two breasts but look at the size of this one! If you don’t have and don’t want to purchase the larger quantity of miso paste, try the small individual sachets.( Handy tip – the boys love some miso soup as a snack on a cold day after school, and I find it is an excellent way to feel full on a 5:2 fast day without blowing out the 500 calories)
While the stock and some water are coming to the boil, diagonally slice the green onion, grate the ginger and either slice or dice the chicken. I like diced, but the long slices are probably more in keeping with the Asian influence – up to you. Pop into the heated stock and cook for a few minutes.
Mix the miso paste with a few tablespoons of the stock:
This will make mixing it through easier (trust the voice of experience who has tried to put it straight in!) Stir through stock and add the cubed tofu. Keep in mind that if tofu is not your favourite, leave it out, but it’s silky goodness slips down your (sore) throat so easily.
Check for seasoning. I find that a dash of soy sauce really brings out the flavour – about a teaspoon but more if you like. if you wanted a bit of spice, now would be the time to add some sliced chilli.
Mmm….delicious! perhaps not a cure for Man “flu, but a good start!
- 1 litre of chicken stock
- 1 litre of water
- 2 green onions, sliced finely on the diagonal
- 1-2 chicken breasts, sliced or diced (about 400g)
- 2 tbs red miso paste
- 2 tsp ginger, finely grated
- 200g diced silken tofu
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- coriander leaves to serve
- Heat water and stock in a large pot over medium heat. Add green onions, ginger and chicken and heat through for a few minutes.
- Mix miso paste with some stock and add to the soup. Add tofu and reheat for a minute or so until chicken is cooked through.
- Add soy sauce and check seasoning - add more soy or salt and pepper as desired
- Serve scattered with coriander leaves