Writing about a recipe may seem wildly off topic here, but I assure you it’s not. Cooking is an alchemical process. Raw and diverse ingredients combine and transform to create something nourishing, healing, infused with love, and greater than the sum of its parts.
This is the recipe for a version of chicken soup I make to fight the flu. It is spicy, which helps with congestion, so be warned. It’s also rich in Vitamin C, B vitamins, minerals, and helps combat free radicals (fresh lime juice and chili peppers). The soup is loaded with garlic (antibacterial / antifungal), and cilantro (helps remove heavy metals from the body and combined with garlic can eliminate infection).
1 whole chicken / skinned (Amish or free range if possible)
1 large red onion
2 whole heads of garlic
4 stems of lemongrass
2 bunches of fresh cilantro
1 whole piece of ginger (at least the size of your palm)
1 can of coconut milk
4 Thai chili
Thank the chicken for her sacrifice and rinse her in cold water. Place your chicken in a heavy bottomed pot and fill to cover the chicken with about three inches of water. Turn the flame to med high heat.
Peel and quarter the red onion
Rinse and cut the two heads of garlic in half, skin and all
Rinse and remove stems from one bunch of cilantro
Remove the hard outer layers of the lemongrass, then hit them up and down the stems with the back of your knife to release their oil. Cut the lemongrass into thirds
Place the ingredients above into the pot with the chicken.
Peel the ginger, then grate it. I grate it directly into the pot so as not to lose any juice, but be careful.
Rinse and cut the stems off two Thai chili. Cut them lengthwise. I leave the seeds in place. If you’re worried about the spicy factor, use one chili and remove the seeds. Handle the cut chili as little as possible (use a spoon to remove the seeds), and refrain from touching your eyes! Put the chili in the pot.
Once the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low, or medium low. You want the soup to simmer now, not boil. Let the soup simmer, covered for two hours or so. Uncover and let cook another hour.
Place a colander over another large pot and CAREFULLY pour the soup into the colander. Let the contents of the soup sit in the colander until the chicken is cool enough to touch. Once the chicken cools and all the liquid has drained, put the colander on top of the original pot. Set the heat to low under the pot that now holds your soup. Remove all the meat from the chicken and place in the pot with the broth. Add and stir the coconut milk into the broth. Salt to taste.
Sometimes I serve this soup in a bowl over basmati rice, sometimes alone.
Garnish in individual bowls with freshly chopped cilantro (about a tblsp), and a few slices of raw Thai chili. Lastly, squeeze the juice of one lime into the bowl.
So good, and clears up the sinuses, beautifully. 😉