By Rob Heimann
I was sick; so here are two healing soup recipes and one for soothing tea.
Tea for a sore throat.
This shit really works. Cloves have a mild anaesthetic affect as well as being anti bacterial. The honey and thyme are also antibacterial and the lemon probably has some good things in it too.
Makes one mug.
A small sprig of thyme.
Four cloves (not the garlic kind).
A squeeze of lemon juice.
Two teaspoons of honey.
A tot of whisky if you’re not at SCA.
Boil a little water. Put the cloves in a comforting mug. Once the water has boiled put a little in mug so that they are floating. Leave to brew for a few minutes. Then after topping up the kettle add the thyme and honey, top up with boiling water. Then lemon juice to taste.
Chicken soup is a classic cure all. There are all kinds of different versions from all over the world and I’ve cooked a fair few of them. The key to a good chicken soup is the broth and therefore the stock, I have included a recipe for basic stock below it’s a bloody useful thing to know how to make. Stock forms the base of all kinds of cooking.
This recipe is a Caribbean variant. I like it because the fragrance the scotch bonnet chillies give it is wonderful.
This will make a 1 large pot.
Chicken. You can either roast a whole bird or you can by a mixture of breast and thigh meat.
1 carrot sliced into rounds.
1 onion diced.
1 rib of celery sliced finely
4 cloves of garlic sliced.
4 spring onions trimmed sliced and one quarter put to one side.
1 medium sweet potato peeled and diced.
A few sprigs of fresh thyme.
1 or 2 scotch bonnet chillies left whole.
This list of ingredients is the most basic. Feel free to add as many new veggies as you like. Coconut milk will change the nature of the soup completely and is delicious but it makes it feel less healthy.
Pre-heat oven to 180c. And put chicken onto roasting tray. If you are cooking a whole chicken do it beforehand. Once the oven is hot put in the chicken.
Prepare your veg.
In a nice big ol’ pot heat a slug of oil. When warm add your onion and sweat down for about five minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, carrot and celery to the pan, cook for a further ten minutes stirring occasionally to prevent them catching* on the bottom of the pan. While cooking the veg chop or shred the the chicken meat, removing bones, skin etc. Add the chicken, stock, thyme, spring onion, scotch bonnet pepper(s) and sweet potato into the pot, cover and simmer for about twenty minutes. Leaving the peppers whole you get the flavour without all of the heat. When the sweet potato is soft the soup is ready. Use the remaing spring onion as garnish. Eat and be well.
This a veggie and vegan friendly soup. There are few rules when it comes to this soup, the only one is; all the veg that goes into the soup should be green. And kind fuck that rule.
Makes four(ish) servings.
One head of broccoli cut into florets
About a handful worth of peas
One bag of spinach
One leek sliced
One green chilli chopped.
A bunch of kale chopped.
A handful of green beans.
And any other veg that comes to hand.
Note: be careful when it comes to brassicas (cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale etc.) To many of these can result in a really overpowering business. And farts.
So you know I said about no green vegetables. You need a carrot. Just pretend they’re green. Okay dice up your carrot and fry gently in a little oil or butter. Add your leek to the pan a cook for about ten minutes. Transfer to a saucepan and add the stock. Use about a pint and a half of stock per person. It also depends on what veg you use. Starchy veg will thicken it up and you might want more stock. Turn the heat to medium and add the rest
of your veg, except the peas and spinach. Cook in the stock for ten minutes. Add your peas and spinach cook for a further two minutes. Now blend!
Stock is a really useful thing to make at home it the the base of soooo much cooking. It’s dead simple to. And as a bonus it makes your home smell delicious. There is a holy trinity of veg for stock and in-fact all western cooking. Carrots, onions, and celery. One of onion, one carrot and a stick of celery. Those three in simmered in a pan of water for an hour will give you a basic stock. You can also have a few aromatics in there too, bay, peppercorn and a couple of cloves and your laughing
You need bones. Beef for a really rich stock which are good for rich dishes. Chicken bones make the most versatile stock as the flavour is reasonably neutral. Any butcher worth a damn should give you bones for free. Also save any bones from cooking in the freezer so you don’t have to go out and find bones all the time.
So bones, holy trinity of veg and aromatics in a pan of water and simmer with a lid on for as long as possible will result in am amazing base for soups, stews and risottos. Just remember to strain out the veg and bones.