Challenge, chicken soup, Comfort Food, Inspiration, Melbourne, Mother, Motivation, Mum, Nurturing yourself, Recipe, Relationships, Thai food, Thai Tom Yum, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese Pho, Writing, Writing101
Day Ten’s prompt is to write about a favourite childhood meal that meant celebration or comfort. I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of days and the one that sticks out for me is the chicken soup my mother made me when I had all my wisdom teeth out. Because I’d had all four wisdom teeth out under anaesthetic I couldn’t really chew for a week or so, so my mum blended this soup, which didn’t really work so well, but it was very welcome nonetheless.
I have a lot of love for Asian influenced brothy soups; Vietnamese Pho, Thai Tom Yum, really anything with broth and chilli. I think it comes from growing up in Box Hill, an area with a heavily Asian population, lots of Asian grocery shops that sold lots of excellent vegetables like bok choy, pak choy, and wombok, and tasty sauces with difficult to read labels. Plus, when made the way my mum used to, this chicken soup was a super easy one pot wonder and ready in about half an hour.
As a grown up, I often use this soup as a go to, particularly when I’m feeling a bit run down, or want comfort in winter. My old housemates, Simon and Kat, also got in on the chicken soup action, so here’s my recipe (or at least, it’s sort of a loose guide to the way I make it).
- Chicken pieces
- Rice/ Rice noodles
- Onion (optional)
- Greens – seasonal stuff, zucchini, broccoli, wombok, pak/bok choy, beans, peas, whatever you like as long as it’s plentiful and green.
- Chilli sauce
- Soy sauce
- Hoisin sauce
Fill a big pot about half way with water or stock. I usually use a stock cube, but if you have home-made stock that’s even better, or that broth they use to make pho.
Put the pot on the stove to heat while you get started on the other stuff.
Next, put the chicken pieces Into the pot. I don’t usually wait for it to boil, but you can if you like. Depending on the size of your chicken pieces you’ll need to simmer that for a while, maybe 10 minutes for small bits of breast or thigh, maybe 20 minutes for anything with a bone still in it.
While that’s simmering, chop the carrot, onion and greens.
After the 10 or 20 minutes has gone by, add your rice*, I’d say about 1/3 cup per serve or something. I don’t really know, I just kind of chuck in a mug full or so for a bit pot. Simmer the rice for 3-4 minutes.
Add your carrot and onion, simmer for another 3-4 minutes.
Finally add your greens and simmer for 3-4 minutes**.
By now your rice should be cooked, as well as your vegies and everything else.
To serve, put the soup into bowls and add chilli, soy and hoisin to taste. You can also add lemon juice and bean sprouts for more of a pho flavour.
Depending on your needs, you can make big batches of this which you can save for later, or single serving versions. Note: if you save this soup for later, the rice will continue to swell and you’ll end up with more of a stew type thing. You can add extra water/stock if you like, or just eat it as is it’s still super tasty.
*If you’re using brown rice, put it in 10 minutes earlier.
**If you’re using rice noodles, add them with the greens at the end.
This is probably not a great recipe if you’re looking for strict instructions, but I’m a fairly loose sort of cook. I’m having this for dinner tonight, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!