Saturday, 10 August 2013

Jewish Penicillin

Steve hasn't been very well recently.  He's come down with a nasty summer cough and cold and was laid up for most of the day.  I dosed him up with over the counter medicines, made him hot honey and lemon and hit my recipe book for my 'feeling sick standby'.
For centuries chicken soup has been known as Jewish Penicillin for its mythical healing properties.  I have no idea how much benefit it actually does but when your throat hurts and it's difficult to swallow, a homemade soup, laden with nutrients and vegetables, is very soothing.

I did do a little bit of digging on it and apparently a Doctor Stephen Rennard had done some research on his grandmothers recipe and discovered her version did have a mild medicinal effect as it inhibited the inflammation of cells in the nasal passage.  I'm not claiming mine will do the same; for all I know Grandma Rennard laced hers with Beechams powder to supercharge it.
I have a recipe book at home that I turn to for our "family favourites" (i.e. recipes we make a bit more than others).  It's a pretty notebook that Steve bought me and all experimental recipes that get the taste test thumbs up get entered into it.  I hope one day to pass it onto my own children.
Chicken soup is one of the earliest recipes in it.  I went through a bit of a soup phase in the kitchen and I think I started with this one.
My version of soup is probably not the proper way of making it but I don't really care as it's so simple.  You take all the ingredients and chop them up, putting them in a large saucepan, holding back half of the main ingredients for later (e.g. in chicken and sweetcorn that would be the chicken and sweetcorn).
 Pour boiling water on the top and simmer for 45 minutes.
Blend the soup and the stock in batches, return to the saucepan with any leftover stock and throw in the held back chicken and sweetcorn.  Simmer for another 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
 Serve with fresh crusty bread and allow the soups healing properties to kick in.
 Feeling better?

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