Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chicken Soup for the Bowl

Our LIFE class this week got a special treat; chicken soup! World renowned for its healing properties, chicken soup is a good remedy for many upper respiratory tract illnesses. Librarians Elise Sheppard and Jill Vu joined us to give us the Jewish and Vietnamese takes on this classic fare. Recipes below. Also below is a link explaining why chicken soup is so good for you. Our LIFE class left feeling fuller in wisdom and healthy goodness. Feel free to try one of these recipes at home with your family the next time cold and flu season comes around, or any day the week for a hearty and healthy meal.

Jewish Chicken Soup - AKA Jewish Penicillin
Rosely Himmelstein's winning recipe from Shabbat Across America's Chicken Soup Challenge
(Serves about 6)

•2 quarts of chicken broth (the recipe follows)
•1 chicken (about 3-4 lbs), quartered (I prefer a regular chicken to a fowl); rinsed
•1 large carrot, peeled and cup up
•1 large onion, peeled and cup up
•1 stalk celery
•1 leek, white and light green parts only; washed well
•1 parsnip, peeled and cut up
•1 parsley root, with greens attached
•1 sweet potato, peeled
•a handful of dill (about 3-4 stems)
•1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut up
•a few sprigs of cilantro (optional)
•Salt and pepper to taste

•Put chicken broth in pot; bring to boil.
•Add chicken. Return to boil; lower heat.
•Gently simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
•Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for one-half hour more; stir occasionally.
•Skim fat from top.
•Pour into bowls; into each add a slice of carrot and a sprig of cilantro.
•If storing, let soup cool before refrigerating. When cold, remove the fat that rises to the surface. Use soup within 2-3 days, or store in freezer.

Vietnamese Chicken Soup

•2 tbsp tamarind powder (optional)
•1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
•1 tbsp oil
•1/2 tsp minced garlic
•1/2 tsp Asian chili paste or hot chili flakes
•5 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
•1 lb chicken (or fish/shrimp)
•1 cup pineapple chunks
•2 tbsp Asian fish saucs (nuoc mam)
•3 tbsp sugar
•1/4 cup lime juice (6 tbsp if you don't use tamarind powder)
•2 tomatoes (6 oz. total) rinsed and cut into 1/2 inch wedges
•2 celery stalks or taro steam (sliced)
•2 cups (6 oz.) bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
•2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
•2 tbsp chopped rice-paddy herb (ngo om) or fresh cilantro
•2 tsp finely chopped fresh chilies or chili garlic sauce

•In a 5 to 6 quart pan over medium heat, stir shallots with oil until golden brown and crisp.
•Add garlic, chicken, and fish sauce to pan and stir until garlic is fragrant.
•Add broth, tamarind powder, sugar and bring to a boil over high heat.
•Add pineapple, tomatoes, and celery or taro steam.
•Cook uncovered just until chicken is cooked and simmered, 5-6 minutes.
•Add bean sprouts into hot broth.
•Ladle soup mixture into bowls and sprinkle with fried shallots, cilantro, basil, rice-paddy herb (ngo om) and chopped green onions. Add chilies to taste.

For more information on the therapeutic properties of chicken soup, go to

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

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