If you are like most of us, the weather is wreaking havoc on your skin, hair and immune system. The F4 family is riddled with the cold to end all colds. What to do? Homemade chicken soup, just like Bubbe made. Here’s a quick way to cheat the “from scratch” – don’t ever go for something in a can. Processed foods bloat, drive up bp and have nasty additives – if you are a bride in training, you certainly don’t need THAT. And besides that, chicken soup has restorative properties that not even antibiotics can mimic. Here’s our take:
Cheater Chicken Soup – serves 4
2 boxes of low sodium chicken stock – we like College Inn
1 bay leaf
fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1 cup small pasta – can be orecchiete, ditalini, egg noodles
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 star anise
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
squeeze of fresh lemon
Optional (if you feel like cooking): 1-2 carrots, sauteed in olive oil to soften beforehand. Another option: pick up a cooked rotisserie chicken at the market, shred and add the meat to the broth as well.
Take a large saucepan and pour in the low-sodium chicken broth (we call this “cheating” since we aren’t using real chicken bones to make a stock). Heat on low until simmering.
Add all ingredients, except for the pasta and lemon juice.
Simmer, covered, on low for 20 minutes.
Uncover, add pasta and cook on low for an additional 10 minutes. Before serving, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Ladle into bowls and enjoy. If you like, add some red chile flakes, fresh chopped basil or flat leaf Italian parsley. You can also substitute orzo, broken spaghetti, rice, udon noodles or even barley for the starch. The flavors will be sharp, mellow and piquant all at once, but you will have made enough delish soup to last the life of your cold. Slurp.