Home-style Chicken Soup for the Desi Cook

With every other person falling sick and getting the flu, its chicken soup time! This very ‘western’ concept is soon catching up with our desi folks coz it really DOES work against the common cold and flu and besides, its so yummy!!

I am talking about the real stuff here, not Maggi and Knorr. So heres a recipe that’s been put together for the Indian kitchens, where ingredients like ‘thyme’ and ‘rosemary’ have no place.

Ingredients (for 4 cups of stock)

1)  1/2 K.g. Chicken pieces-

Ask your chicken-wala to give u soup-pieces separately.These are bony and perfect for a rich healthy soup. But you can also use cold-storage chicken.

2) Vegetables:

2 Carrots, one Onion, some Lettuce(optional)

3) Spices:

1 Bay leaf, some pepper corns

The Stock:

  1. Put all of the soup pieces and some meaty pieces in a pot and add enough water to cover the pieces by an inch. Partially cover the pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Once its boiling, reduce heat to sim and add roughly diced carrots, the onion can go in whole and the lettuce leaves. Also throw in the spices with some salt.
  3. Keep it cooking till the meat turns white. Then, scoop out the meaty pieces and set aside. Overcooking these will render the meat tasteless and stringy.
  4. Now reduce the stock by simmering it for a good 20-30 minutes. This will extract the flavour from the bones and will make your stock potent enough to kill the flu bug!
  5. Your stalk is ready when reduced to about half of its original volume. Use a large spoon to gently skim the surface for the gray fatty layer, which is nothing but extra fat from the bones and meat. Throw it away.

The Soup:

Once your stock is ready, the soup isn’t far away. Simply add a little water (about 50-50) , add a few freshly chopped carrot pieces, mushrooms, some diced cooked chicken (saved from the stock), some boiled noodles or rice, boil and serve! The best part is, even if you have NOTHING but water and stock, you are fine! Just sprinkle some pepper and sit ready with a box of tissues!

The Fancy Soup:

If you are not sick and have have 5 extra minutes, roughly chop some garlic, fry it in a pan till its golden, add some water and cornstarch, a small little teaspoon of fresh cream and roughly chopped coriander. Add this to the stock, and you have “Burnt Garlic and Chicken soup”.

Now ain’t I a genius!

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