Soup for the changing season

No matter how well wrapped you are to fight the oncoming chilly winds, your stuffy nose tells a different tale. Pair that with a dull throb somewhere at the back of your head, you are already reaching for your cold medicines. This season, instead of that, why not give some cold curing soups a try? Even if the effects are not instantaneous, warm tasty soup never fails to soothe the body!

COLD CURING CHICKEN SOUP

Well-loved and often termed as the ‘world’s most popular bird’, the chicken soup is a much loved treat to fight off the cold.

Ingredients

1 chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces (remove skin, leave bone in)

8 cups of chicken broth

3 large cloves of garlic, chopped

½ cup chopped onion

2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced

2 celery stalks, sliced

8 ounces dried wide egg noodles or 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice

½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tbsp fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme

Method

Pat chicken parts dry. Season pieces with salt and pepper. Brown chicken parts in a heavy bottomed pan with 1 teaspoon of cooking oil over medium-high heat for about 6-8 minutes, turning once.

Add chicken broth to the pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover partially and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer chicken to a large bowl. Cool chicken and broth slightly. Discard bones from chicken. Cut or pull apart chicken meat into bite-sized pieces and reserve.

Spoon fat off from the top of chicken broth. Return broth to simmer. Add onion, carrots, celery, and thyme. Simmer until vegetables soften, about 8 minutes. (You can prepare 1 day ahead, but be sure to store broth and meat separately in the fridge.)

Stir in noodles (or rice), parsley, and reserved chicken. Simmer until noodles are tender, about 5 minutes. If you use rice, simmer until the rice is done. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls, and garnish it with parsley if you want.

SPICY CARROT-COCONUT SOUP

This vegetarian soup packs just the right amount of punch to clear that stuffy nose without compromising taste!

Ingredients

¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, 1 pound carrots, peeled, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped, Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cups chicken broth, 13½ oz can unsweetened coconut milk

2 tbsp Thai-style chilli sauce plus more for serving

Fresh cilantro leaves (for serving)

Method

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 15–20 minutes, stirring often, until carrots are softened. Stir in broth, coconut milk, and 2 tablespoon of chilli sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 40–45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very soft and liquid is slightly reduced.

Let soup cool slightly, then purée in a blender until smooth. Reheat in a clean saucepan, thinning with water to desired consistency; season with salt and pepper. Divide soup among bowls, drizzle with chilli sauce, and top with cilantro.

 

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