It’s that time of year again, cold and flu season. For the most part, I can pretty well ward off any cold or flu I come across with my evil powers (just kidding) but this one bugger finally got me late last week. I’d been plagued with a sore throat since a week ago Monday, but no coughing or sneezing or any other symptoms, until Saturday. My voice is now three octaves lower and a little raspier…dare I say sexy? Well, if it wasn’t for the sneezing and coughing, perhaps. But not so much !
We went Christmas tree chopping on Sunday (you may recall we did this last year too), I probably shouldn’t have gone, but I really, really, really wanted to. And it was cold, and slightly snowing. We snapped a few pics but the weather wasn’t great and I paid for it the following day. I stayed home and nursed my achy body. And with great timing, my friend Kelly up in Ottawa at Inspired Edibles created a alcohol free (I know, what was I thinking?) hot toddy that sincerely HIT THE SPOT. I will make this my go to winter drink when I feel a cold coming on. You can actually taste the healing properties (and heating properties !) I’m not going to post the recipe because I made it just as Kelly suggested (except I didn’t have star anise, so I used cloves instead) and her pictures are better anyway. Please do yourself a favour and try this drink. It is seriously yummy and it works!
We chose another smallish tree, but this one has a lot more girth (but Mum’s the word when the tree asks if it looks fat all dressed up!)
When we arrived home that evening, I just felt like soup, so I made just what the doctor ordered, chicken noodle soup. This is a variation of Nigella’s Cold Cure Soup as I wanted something a little simpler than her version. And I only put 1/4 of a fresh lemon into it as I have found that more than that can make the soup bitter tasting, particularly when your taste buds are a bit off with a cold.
Cold Cure Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 4 generous portions
- 2 bone in, skinless chicken breasts (about 400-450 g)
- 1 medium carrot, cut into large chunks
- 1 medium parsnip, cut into large chunks (reserve the tops)
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, smashed but left whole (so you can remove them)
- 1/4 lemon
- 1 tsp canola oil
- Salt to taste
- Glass noodles
- Parsley to garnish
- Green onion to garnish
- If the chicken still has some fat on it, remove all fat (you’ll thank me later so your soup isn’t a large puddle of grease!). Sear the chicken breasts, meat side down until lightly browned.
- Add onion, carrots, parsnips, garlic and the lemon. Stir for a moment. Fill the pot with water to cover all of the chicken and vegetables.
- Wash and tie the parsnips tops, add to the soup pot. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through (I found that 1 hour 30 minutes was good for our chicken, but you should definitely check the internal temperature) You don’t want to cook it too long so that the vegetables are not mushy!
- Remove chicken and allow to rest for about 5-7 minutes (covered). Taste and salt stock to your preference.
- In the meantime, soak the glass noodles according to directions.
- Strain the soup through a fine sieve, reserving the carrot, parsnip and onions. Discard the parsnip tops, garlic and lemon.
- Cut the carrot and parsnips into small bite size sticks.
- De-bone the chicken and tear into small bite-size pieces.
- Into four bowls, add even amounts of the noodles, vegetables and chicken and cover with the hot stock.
- Serve immediately garnished with parsley and green onions.
On an unrelated note, my blog is fast approaching our 100,000 visitor! I’m hoping we can reach that goal before the new year. I might even do a give away! Stay tuned.