I consider myself a pretty adventurous eater. So what is chicken soup doing here? Well, I’m not so much an adventurous home cook anymore. I blame it on the kids.
I’m just kidding.
But yes, since I became a mom I do feel sometimes that my joy of cooking is being affected by the fact that I have one child who doesn’t like X and and another one who doesn’t like Z and I try constantly to maneuver between those ever changing likes and dislikes. I also don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen – time I actually do not have on my hands anymore – because I rather play with them kiddies or give them some kind of attention here and there instead of watching them from the kitchen. But it doesn’t mean that I’ll trade any of them for an iron chef meal any time soon. Eating everything roasted with salt and pepper and a little olive oil (Boring… Not to mention hot dogs) for dinner is a small price to pay compared to having a family with all the ups and downs that come with it.
And then, I get my chance to explore and have my little culinary adventures when we go out to eat. I am always looking for new things, new ideas, ingredients I haven’t tried yet, innovative and creative dishes. I’m taking notes about those findings in a little notebook that I always keep in my purse. Which reminds me of one time we ate at a new restaurant in town. I was very excited about their Kobacha stew – it was delicious and I never ate Kobacha before – and wrote a few notes in my little notebook about it. The waiter noticed and asked me if I was going to write a review about them? Am I a journalist? I said I was neither. Afterwards he brought me a spoon for dessert AND it was a little dirty. He apologized and replaced it immediately after I told him, but I opened my little notebook and pretended to be writing something about it. For a second he froze. But then he understood that I was just pulling his leg. Figuratively…
Back at home, these days, I find myself going back to the basics.
Simple food. Simple ingredients.
Food I think the kids would love. (But it doesn’t always work that way.)
Food I repeat over and over hoping my children will remember when they grow up. (The good and the bad.)
Food I can make in 29 minutes (‘cause 30 minutes is already taken…)
Things that will warm our bellies, and hopefully our souls too.
I’ve been through some ups and down lately. You know. It has taken some of my energy away from cooking to some extent. Another good excuse. (Why only blame it on the kidz?)
And now I have this one.
Which I am absolutely positively 100% sure you are all familiar with and have made it and/or ate it before at least once in your life, right?!
If not a million times!
However, I still want to share it with you.
Because it did make me feel all better inside. I felt warm like a fluffy down comforter on a chilly rainy gray day when you can’t see the sun, or even remember there IS a sun. It has cheered me up and perked up my soul. But we can discuss the placebo effect of chicken soup in more length some other time…
My son asked for chicken noodle soup, and his wish is my command.
Of course he did not expect there will be vegetables in there swimming alongside the noodles, but, what can you do? I am that kind of mom.
Nurit’s chicken soup
Makes 6-8 servings
6 chicken drumsticks and/or thighs
1 onion, peeled, and halved with the root attached
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 celery sticks, cut into big chunks
1 celeriac (celery root), peeled and cut into big chunks, optional
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into big chunks
1 yam, peeled and cut into big chunks
4-6 carrots, peeled and cut into big chunks
black pepper, ground or a few peppercorn put in a tea infuser
1/2 bunch parsley, tied with a string
For serving, add cooked noodles, chopped green onion, cooked kale
Start by placing the chicken in a large pot together with the onion, garlic, and celery sticks. Cover with enough water to cover all the vegetables you will add later and bring to a boil. When the water boils, lower the heat and skim the scum/foam that rose to the top with a spoon or a strainer.
Add all the vegetables, besides parsley, 2 tablespoons salt, and pepper. Cook for about 30-40 minutes keeping the soup simmering gently, until the chicken and vegetables are cooked through. As the soup cooks, check to see if it needs some more skimming/if more foam keeps rising to the surface.
Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Note: I like to cut the vegetables into big chunks so they don’t break while they cook. I also fight the temptation to stir the soup often, and keep an eye on the “gentle simmer” until the soup is done which helps to have a clearer broth and veggies intact.
What’s in your chicken soup?