Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vietnamese/Jewish Gramma Inspired Chicken Soup.

When I lived in San Francisco, in the Richmond, I became addicted to Pho.
When I was first seriously learning to cook on my own, well for the second time, (I learned to cook as a teenager as a vegetarian/anorexic, then I relearned in college after I started eating meat again, then I become a better educated vegetarian, & cooked the hell out of that, then I came an even better educated truly dedicated meat eater. Long story. Oh & I was a vegan for a while along the way, too.)
ANYWAY, at some point at RISD in the mid-90's I taught myself to make chicken soup. Roast chicken is one of my mum's classic recipes, & I do it too, & just today over lunch I was coaching my lovely sister in the Diamond family fine art of roasting a chicken. I was raised to of course always turn a roasted chicken into many more meals by making chicken soup from the leftovers (after the AWESOME sandwich phases of course).
Originally this was of a more traditional variety (my paternal gramma was a matzo ball soup queen) but I like spicy food, & I like asian food, especially southeast asian food & while I can also make pretty authentic Pho & sometimes I do, one of my favorite comfort foods is kind of a cross between my gramma's classic Jewish Matzo Ball Soup & this incredible spicy soup I used to get at the Citrus Club in the upper Haight in SF.
It's always different, my chicken soup, since I never ever cook with a recipe, but this particular one:
boil the hell out of the leftover chicken bones, strain, add leeks, carrots, chili peppers, yukon gold baby potatoes, lemongrass, & garlic (a shit ton of all the spicy elements), boil more, add brown basmati rice, simmer, splash of sriracha, eat.

oh & of course, as toast is really just a vehicle for butter, soup is sometimes just a vehicle for toast, & therefore butter.
God I heart butter, good butter, so much. Seriously, nothing like a hot, spicy, complicated broth with good veggies & chicken on a chilly October night. I like to freeze some for when I'm actually sick & don't have the energy for this, although I love roasting chickens in the winter so I usually end up with plenty of soup.

In conclusion, if you're sick & in need of soup, you know who to call.

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