Friday, April 15, 2011

Comfort Soup

At my house, we have been sick for a week. My husband has been mostly home since last Thursday (he went in twice but came back home soon thereafter). It is one of those colds that have hit all of us, all at the same time and it has been awful.

Trying to cook or eat when you are sick is not a simple task. Our week has been full of soup, grilled cheese, and skillet-browned boneless chicken thighs and rice. 

Tonight we had soup with a broth that has simmered since yesterday. It was simple and delicious and took (maybe) 5 minutes.
Recipe: Beef Stock

beef soup bones (any kind)
3 carrots
1 head garlic, cloves smashed
1 hand-sized chunk of ginger, halved
1 onion, halved
stems from 1 bunch of cilantro 
1 lemon grass stalk, bruised
3 to 6 star anise seed "flowers"
1 large stick cinnamon
1 tbsp black pepper corns

> put all the ingredients into the pot 
> cover with water until the bones are 10 cm (4 inches) below the surface of the water
> bring almost to a boil then turn down to simmer and cover with a lid
> skim off any "foam" that rises to the surface as it will cloud the stock and alter the flavour in a bad way
> check on it often, but simmer overnight or all day long

Serve with rice noodles, vegetables, and cooked meat. Instead of seasoning with salt and pepper, season with soya sauce and a spicy chilli sauce. 

Cooking Rice Noodles

My husband and I like the authentic rice stick noodles in our soups and always have them on hand in the pantry. Cooking them is quite simple.

> fill the kettle and boil 
> place the noodles in a container where they can be fully submerged in boiling water
> once the water has boiled, pour it over the noodles and push them down so they are all fully submerged
> let soak about 5-7 minutes
> drain then rinse with cold water to stop them from continuing to cook and soften

Any extra noodles can be set aside in single-serving "clumps" and put away in the fridge in bowls or baggies, ready for your next soup bowl.

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