Now, have you ever heard of the book called Chicken Soup for the Soul? The title refers to something that refreshes our mind and satisfies our hearts. This time, we are going to take it to the next level. We have to literally cook the chicken soup for hungry souls like me. Just joking.
Anyway, this recipe is based on that prepared by Chef Tatung. You may like him on Facebook if you want. But we will prepare our own version of the chicken soup.
Are we ready for our new version of chicken soup? Well, here are the ingredients:
- A whole chicken cut into pieces. Make sure that you have cut it into fine strands. And separate flesh with the bones. Otherwise, with whole chunks in the dish, we might not savor the deep flavor hidden in the chicken soup.
Remember that bones have marrow which give added flavor to the soup. If hidden in the flesh, the marrow inside won’t give added taste.
- Chinese cabbage cut into 1 inch rounds. This is also known as pechay here in the Philippines. As explained by Chef Tatung, this gives the most optimal taste to the soup we are cooking. If not available, ordinary cabbage will do.
- Two onions and three cloves garlic, chopped into bits. The chef had wanted white onions, quartered. But this robs the best flavor that is needed for our soup. Chopping any onion into bits will give the optimal flavor that we need.
- Two stalks leeks. It’s up to you if you want it chopped or as is.
- One head string beans, chopped. Beans (and other variants of these) give added protein which complements that of chicken. We all know that protein gives us muscular strength, so why don’t give it a go?
- Green papaya, sliced into pieces. Papayas are best served as vegetables when raw. Best as added volume to our soup.
- One ginger and one garlic, sliced into pieces. On ordinary days, ordinary gingers will do. But on winter months, it’s best if we will use turmeric (yellow ginger). The spicier, the better. And oh, by the way, this can be deleted from the ingredients if you don’t want a spicy dish.
- Six cups of water. Be accurate in measuring a cup full of water. This might affect the taste and quality of our dish. But depending on the ingredients, this may be increased or decreased.
- Patis. This is a special type of fish sauce that can be bought in supermarkets. If there are none, best alternative would be Lea and Perrins’ Worcestershire sauce.
- Ground white pepper. These can be found during winter months, if you know what I mean. Haha. But ground black pepper can be a good substitute, which can be found all year round.
- Olive oil. Please choose olive oil that is suited for frying. But if you could not afford it, you may substitute it with palm cooking oil.
Are we ready? Here’s how we cook it:
- In a large pan or in a pot, pour the olive oil suitable for frying. Wait till smoke starts to appear on the pan. Just be careful not to overdo the smoke.
- Saute the onions and the garlic.
- Put the chicken bits into the pan/a pot.
- Pour six cups of water, and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Season with patis, salt, little bit of sugar, and ground pepper.
- After 45 minutes or one hour, taste the soup. If it suits your taste, then add the rest of the vegetables except for pechay. Let it boil again.
- After boiling, see to it that vegetables have been cooked already. When cooked, add Chinese cabbage or pechay. Yes, you cook the pechay with the chicken. Chef Tatung had told that “Its one of the vegetables with the most umami and cooking it for a long time will bring out a very delicious flavor.” For our recipe, we will have to cook it fast.
- After adding the pechay, let it boil again. The Chicken Soup for the Soul Recipe is now ready to be served.
That’s all for now. Hope you might enjoy cooking this delicious dish. I am sure that this best nourishes our hungry souls, especially for those who are really hungry. Best served now, especially that winter is coming. Have a good appetite, and happy cooking! 🙂
Featured Image Credit: Chicken soup as portrayed by BBC. For illustrative purposes only.