KIND OF CONSOMME

Last week I battled a brutal cold and sore throat. For days, I could barely muster enough energy to make a piece of toast, or a mug of a tea. Because it seems like everyone else I know is getting sick, too, I’d like to say that I firmly believe that this chicken consomme is what cured me. Kat and Jennifer, this one is for you.

Around 9am, I woke up with a blinding headache and a near inability to swallow. My boyfriend convinced me that chicken noodle soup would bring me back to life, so I stumbled to the kitchen, threw the bones from a roast chicken that I had saved, and I added whatever I could find in the refrigerator (diced carrots, baby leeks, a bundle of parsley, a quartered onion, whole garlic gloves, a knob of ginger), and a few things from the pantry (a pinch of black peppercorns, dried thyme, dried chili pepper, and bay leaf). I added three liters of water, and brought to a boil. Though I didn’t have an appetite at the time, by the time the simmering broth was done four hours later, I was finally ready for some soup.

I strained the broth three times to get a golden, clear liquid (not exactly a consomme, I realize, but the closest approximation I will arrive at while severely sick), and returned the chicken stock to the pot. I added one can of black beans, a teaspoon of cumin, more chili flakes, and a handful of orecchiette. The best touches came at the end: a handful of diced scallions, cilantro, more chili pepper, and a squeeze of lime. The soup was very light, yet rich in flavor; the spicy heat cleared up my stuffy nose, and the black beans gave me enough energy for the rest of the afternoon. 

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7 responses to “KIND OF CONSOMME

  1. You are sweet.
    Our soup turned out nicely – we stuck with the traditional, but I may have to try a variation on yours with our leftovers tomorrow!

  2. I love that, even when sick, you don’t take short cuts. You’ve inspired me to start making my stocks from scratch more.

    • i truly believe that the magic of this soup is doing it yourself, that somehow going through all the steps and being involved in the heavenly broth is also what made me healthy again. like somehow if someone just handed me a bowl of chicken soup i would not have gotten better so fast + that the chopping and the stirring and the tasting was part of the medicine…..

  3. haha. this post reminds me of what i felt like making soup when i was sick. i literally threw a whole chicken in a pot, covered it with water, cooked til it was done, pulled it out, shredded it (and saved the bones for when i was better enough to make proper stock), cut up unpeeled vegetables and threw them in the pot, let it go then ate it. yours is wayyyy more refined, but both seem to have done job they were enlisted to do:)) chicken soup beats all when it comes to feeling sick. which makes sense. i recently read something by a great herbalist and she said the most healing foods for when we are sick are not grains and vegetables, but animal foods; they are easiest for us to process because they are closest to what we already are.

  4. my semi colon was supposed to be a colon.
    : not ;
    :)))

  5. this looks so delicious…i want to try your version! we’re a little under the weather and have been making a very basic chicken soup, and drinking hot orange juice with a little lemon juice, ginger, and honey.

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