Flu and soup refrain

Around these parts we’ve been knocked on our collective keister for the past week-and-then-some by the first of the Season’s nasty viruses*. I was quick to take to bed, relinquishing my enervated (and after a few days stinky) self to long pools of recuperative drowse. Even Chris, gallant man of the all-hours stoical slog, collapsed on the heels of a near all-nighter, only to rise with any sort of equilibrium after six days prone and with a sinus infection for his trouble.

It’s a nasty bug with several legs– over a foundation of chills and fever dreams, first day and half brought splitting headache followed quickly by back and muscle aches, sneezing/coughing/stuffy/itchiness, and, in a sort of revolting crescendo, gut cramps and the quick expulsion of most solid foods. Apologies for TMI– but fun, right?!

Myself a few days ahead in the sick cycle**, I took to making medicinal chicken soup (it’s been tested and proven somewhere, I know). Several sustaining brews emerged from the base ingredient of poultry bird in pot. My personal favorite, detailed here, packs flavor to knock your stuffy-headed socks off. For another yummy variation leave out the cilantro and tomatilloes and add a bunch of fresh chopped ginger.

Tart & Pungent Chicken Soup

bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes:
1 4.5 lb chicken
1/2 an onion
1 stalk celery in quarters
1 carrot in quarters
1 bay leaf

Remove chicken from pot, let cool enough to handle, remove meat, return bones to pot. Simmer for 3-4 hrs.

Strain and remove fat from the stock. Easiest way to do this is to refrigerate until to fat solidifies and then skim. I was less patient, so simply skimmed the top layer from the pot the best I could into a glass measuring cup, where I could see it separate, etc.

Slice and saute:
6-8 small young white bulbed green stemmed onions
6-8 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery
4-5 tomatilloes
1 plum tomato

Add broth and bring to a boil.

1 6-oz. package soup-sized pasta (star shaped is fun; today’s is bowtie)

Simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Add 1 cup of the chicken meat cut in bite-size pieces, juice of 2 lemons, and 1-2 cups chopped fresh cilantro.

Heat through and serve.

*Note to self: flu shot

**Yeah, okay, so I presumably “gave” my husband this contagion. Can we finally just put this catholic construction to bed and agree that influenza is a guerilla terrorist that hijacks one and all the same? I’m really working on covering my mouth when I sneeze, I swear. Kthanxbai.

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