It’s under 60°. In Los Angeles that’s, um… cold. I’m under the weather, which is unusual. More unusual is that I’ve been fighting this malaise for over three weeks. Flu? Winter blues? Cracked header on Jeep leaking CO into cab? Dunno.
What is certain is I’d like to feel better. My friend Nancy, a physician, recommends strong medication. Stat! She’s means, “Dude, whip up your awesome chicken soup— A Bowl of Seasonal Warmth would be great right now. “Yeah, maybe.” I say, “But I’m not all that hungry. I’m thinking more along the lines of a hot toddy made with Hibiki whisky.” She says, “Dude, you don’t have to eat it, just make it.” (Meaning she’ll eat it.) Nice.
I head to Whole Foods to fill the Rx.
- Two bunches of celery.
- Eight multi-colored carrots.
- One big yellow onion.
- Five yellow potatoes.
- One bulb of garlic.
- One leek.
- Himalayan pink salt.
- Black pepper.
- Bragg organic “Sprinkle” herbs and spices seasoning.
- Organic, extra virgin olive oil.
- Five chicken legs, separated into thighs / drumsticks.
- About three quarts of spring water.
Thirty minutes and forty-five dollars later I’m at home, and the prep begins.
- One big pot— I use an 8q Calphalon pasta pot.
- 10” Skillet— I use a 100 year-old cast iron skillet.
- 8″ Chef’s knife.
- Serving spoon.
My process is simple. Chop celery and carrots into 1/2” pieces. Cut onion and potatoes into quarters, then halve the quarters. Peel garlic and slice each clove in half.
Sauté celery, carrots, onion and garlic in skillet, one at a time, with olive oil and Bragg seasoning. (Five minutes, or so.)
Stand leek on end in big pot, add potatoes, chicken, and sautéed veggies. Add water to cover contents, and salt and pepper to taste— for me that’s 3 tbsp of salt and 1 tbsp of pepper.
Fire up burner and bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Stir carefully, put lid on (it won’t cover pot completely because of the leek), and every so often stir again. Cook until potatoes are soft, maybe an hour-and-fifteen minutes. And then, soup’s on!
A taste from the pot is promising. First bowl— mmmmm!— perhaps the best I’ve made. Second bowl, just as good. And, if some is good, more is better! Third bowl— don’t know that I’m well yet, but I am feeling better. Hey Nancy, your prescription is right on!
But, with half the batch gone already, you better drop by soon.