Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Divine Healing Soup

Have you ever been through those days, when after a ton of festivities, an overload of eating and merry making, you just fall a little sick! Well If you're a little like me, then perhaps you know what I'm talking about. After celebrating Diwali, the pollution in the air from all the fire crackers and the changing weather finally got to me and I got a fever n a had a terribly sore throat. 

In India the weather is changing from post monsoon to a very dry winter and the people tend to take time and a really strong immunity system to help them adapt through this transition. Evidently, my immunity system sucks! 

I had such a sore throat that I wasn't able to talk for a couple days. Sure, it was a good thing for the people around me cause thats one of the few times that I ever shut up but can you imagine how much I had force myself to not speak. I needed to rest my throat. Or well I needed something to help me soothe it. 

And the creative genius that I am, I thought, what could be better than some soup to heal me?! I know, completely indigenous and so delusional! 



I simply raided my fridge and found a few ingredients to make this soup. It is inspired by the flavourful Chinese and Italian cuisines. The best ever combination of flavours that just fill your mouth with a burst of flavours. 

Well and I tell you, no I promise you that this soup has absolute healing powers. Its a meal in itself. Its so damn healthy- I hate admitting it! Oh and its so delicious.... wait till you get a big spoonful of this irresistible hot soup in your mouth. Here's the recipe

Serves: 4 big bowl fulls

Time: 1 hr

Complexity: **

You'll need

Feel free to add or subtract veggies of your choice but here's what I used

1 1/2 cup finely shredded cabbage
1 1/2 cup diced carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped french beans
1 capsicum, diced (too much of it makes the soup a tad pungent for me)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup of scallions, chopped
1" piece of ginger sliced, minced- your choice (use more if you like it, like I did)
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced or sliced whatever you like. You can even crush it!
2 chicken breasts, skinned
2 tsp salt
6 cups vegetable/ chicken stock (home made or store bought or cubes- low sodium of course)/ plain water if you don't have stock on hand
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
12-15 basil leaves
2 cups Fettuccine (optional)
Black pitted and sliced Olives for garnish (optional)
Shredded Parmesan (I LOVE CHEESE!!!!)
1 tbsp butter or 2 tbsp Olive oil
Pinch of love

Method

In a deep pan or a stewing pot, heat butter. Place the chicken breasts to sear and cook. 


Season them as they cook in the pan itself with some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook the chicken for about 4 minutes on each side or until they are cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside in a plate. 

Now in the same flavoured pan, add the onions, garlic and ginger -all the Asian  aromatics. Saute for about couple minutes till the onions turn translucent and light pink in colour. 


Time to add in the scallions. Save just a very little for garnish. Saute for another 40 seconds or so. 



To this add the chopped vegetables. Mix well so the onions are evenly distributed along with the ginger and garlic. 



Pour in your stock. I had about 4 cups of stock so I added 2 cups plain water. Improvising baby, improvise!!



Cover and let it simmer for around 15 minutes. Till then the vegetables will get cooked and get a chance to tenderize. I like my veggies to cook thoroughly. If you like yours crunchier, give it just about 4-5 minutes. 

Add the hand torn basil leaves and season with salt, pepper and oregano. At this point, if you're a garlic lover like me and have a sore throat like me, add some more garlic powder to it. Garlic not only adds abundant flavour but also helps in healing the throat.



Skim the soup for the impurities. Shred the chicken breasts and add to the soup along with any juices that gather in the plate. Add your Love to it, and give it a final stir. 




Meanwhile have you pasta cooked and ready while the soup's simmering. Make sure its al dente. 


To serve, place some pasta at the bottom of the bowl. Pour the delicious soup on top of it. Garnish with some black olives, another strand or two of pasta, shredded cheese, some scallions and basil leaves. 



Your aromatic magical healing soup is ready to be consumed. The perfect amalgamation of great 2 great cuisines from around the world. Drink away to good health. It helped me immensely. And since winter's on its way around the world, drink it anyway! Make sure you drink it steaming hot but be careful not to scald your mouth like I did! Divine, isn't it? Indulge!! :)) 





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