Is chicken soup really good for the soul? Writers have waxed sentimental and produced books about it. It’s been chosen as the complement to psychological wellness, comfort food that can’t be beat. Plus it’s your all-season dish. Whether it’s lazing about during the dog days of summer or seeking warmth after trudging through blowing snow outside, chicken soup has got to be the answer to the question, “what’s a delicious, classic dish to whip up at short notice?”.
For a more defined taste, I boil chicken breast the night before with 2 chicken bullion cubes. When the chicken is cooked, I cut it up into bite-size pieces and put them in the fridge. The broth – with sauteed onions, garlic and ginger, is kept in the fridge for the next day.
The complete recipe follows (although I’m sure you’ve got your own special way of making this popular home staple).
Almost forgot: salt and pepper, to taste.
The day before:
1. With a bit of canola oil, saute onions, garlic and ginger, 2 minutes.
2. Add your water and chicken. Let chicken boil for first 10 minutes and then let simmer for 15 minutes more.
3. Save the water and let it cool. Slice chicken into bite-size pieces.
4. Cover the broth and put in refrigerator. Do the same for the chicken pieces.
5. Cook pasta as directed, using the broth from the day before.
6. When pasta is almost cooked, throw chicken pieces and carrots.
7. Salt and pepper to taste.
8. Just before serving, sprinkle cut-up spring onions over soup.
You can serve with warm rolls or soda crackers.
My family had arroz caldo on special occasions like Christmas and New Year. It’s made with parts of chicken (usually the drumstick) and rice, with lots of ginger. If you were to join a Filipino family for New Year’s midnight dinner after church service, you’ll most likely be served a piping hot bowl of this nourishing (and nurturing) soup – a meal in itself!