My husband and I learned early on that we have different reactions to being sick. While my husband wants to be pampered, fussed over and tended, when I am feeling out of sorts, I prefer to be left alone. The first few times I got sick my husband’s attempts to pamper me were met with grumpiness and dirty looks. However, the one kind of pampering I now not only accept but expect when I’m ailing is his miraculous chicken soup.
Having spent some of my high school years working in a kosher deli, I’m initiated into the benefits of what a friend of mine calls kosher penicillin, but I find that the Iraqi variety is just as effective and a bit more flavorful. This batch is enough to keep me going for the few days it takes for me to be up and running again and it soothes and comforts as only my mommy could do before.
2 qts. chicken stock
1 can chick peas
1 to 3 heads of garlic, cloves peeled but left whole (depends on how much you need/can stand)
2 medium sized onions peeled and chopped
1 T. turmeric
1/2 t. Madras Curry
1/2 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onions in two tablespoon of olive oil. When they’re soft add the turmeric and curry and cook for a few seconds until you can smell the spices. Add the chicken with salt and pepper and, when as it begins to brown, add the whole garlic cloves but be careful not to burn them. When the chicken is brown on all sides, put the stock in the pot and bring it to a rapid boil. As the stock begins to boil, any impurities and extra oil will rise to the top of the pot so skim those off before the stock comes to a rolling boil, then reduce the stock by 1/3. (If you want, you can make homemade stock and just keep reducing once you’ve removed the solids.) Once the stock is reduced, turn it to medium and add the lemon juice. Keep simmering until the soup is now reduced by half. Test for flavor and salt and pepper to taste. Add the chick peas and simmer another 15 minutes until they warm through.
Variations: If you want to enhance the germ-fighting properties you can also add miso and onions. It’s also fine to add shredded chicken, I just don’t always want it when I’m sick.