Sunday, February 5, 2012

Kippensoep -- wat gezellig!

You are chilly and your nose is running. Or you have a fever, aches, and a stuffy nose. How about some nice chicken soup? It seems to be a universal remedy for the mid-winter blues  --  or for whatever else ails you.

Last week I had a sinus infection, and besides prescribing a round of antibiotics, my doctor (who is from East Asia) actually told me to go home and make some chicken soup. Her recipe was not all that different from the one in Grandma Vandenbergh's old Dutch cookbook, thus proving to my aching head that chicken soup indeed has a universal appeal.

Chicken soup ingredients

Chicken Soup:

- 1 soup chicken
- 8 cups (2 liters) cold water
- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) each salt, mace, parsley
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) flour
- 1/3 cup (60 grams) rice
- 1 egg

The list above is from Grandma's cookbook. As you can see in the picture, I did not have a whole chicken, so I reduced the amount of water to 6 cups, and added onion, garlic, a couple of bay leaves, a bouillon cube, and some sliced carrots to give the soup a little more "oomph." I also omitted the egg.

Grandma's recipe tells you to simmer the chicken in the water, along with the salt, mace, parsley, and rice until the rice is cooked. Stir the flour into the melted butter, and add it slowly to the soup to thicken it. Remove the chicken from the pot, cut the meat into small pieces and add them back into the soup. I also added a few croutons for crunch (until they got a bit soggy).

The steam from the simmering pot of soup was also therapeutic for my clogged sinuses. So if you're feeling stuffy or have a cold, have some chicken soup, and get plenty of rest.

Or as my Mom used to say, "Vroeg naar bed, kind!"  Get to bed early, kid!

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