I haven't been feeling 100% these past few weeks. The weather's been cold and wet and my body has taken that as its cue to morph into a dribbly snot-monster. Whenever I'm struggling with a cold, I crave two things - milk chocolate and chicken soup.
The former is somewhat, but not entirely, surprising. You see, at practically any other opportunity I opt for dark chocolate - the darker and more intense, the better. When I lose my sense of taste though, intensity doesn't do it for me and instead, I'm after a physical reaction. The more sugar and fat, the greater and quicker the physical high.
Thankfully, my German mum came to the rescue during my time of need and, without even being told of my ailing condition, sent me a huge parcel or German goodies containing, among other things, enough milk chocolate to feed a small village.
My other default comfort food is chicken soup. I've been a fan of chicken soup since...well...probably since being in utero. My Nana was the best chicken souper of all time - the queen of kreplach, the matzah ball messiah, if you will. Since her passing, my mum has inherited those titles. Though I try to contest, I'm resigned to the fact that I will never be able to top her soup. But that doesn't stop me trying!
I cooked up a big batch of chicken soup over the weekend. I don't really follow a recipe, but simply throw a chicken frame or two into a big soup pot, along with chopped carrots, celery, a parsnip, onions, parsley and 3-ish litres of water. After it comes to the boil, I skim off the layer of fat that rises to the surface, whack in a stock cube (to intensify the flavour) and leave it simmering for a good few hours (at least 3 - more, if possible).
While it doesn't look pretty (my mum always peels her carrots and strains her soup, resulting in a much more aesthetically pleasant consommé), it tasted fantastic. I love my chicken soup with noodles or matzah balls (as pictured above). Mind you, these are cheat, packet matzah balls and they're really best made from scratch.
Best bit of all of this? I'm feeling better - woop! Who said chicken soup's medicinal properties is only folklore, eh?