My favorite soup when I’m sick…the garlic, lemon and ginger in this soup really hit the spot!
1 small chicken, cut up into manageable pieces
2 whole carrots, peeled
1 onion, skin removed, cut in half
1 head garlic, peeled and smushed
Lots of ginger (I added two 6 inch long pieces, peeled and grated into the stock)
4 hot thai peppers (or any pepper that suits you)
2 lemons worth of juice
Salt to taste
12 cups water
½ cup of rice, vermicelli or little star pasta (optional)
I know some people throw the onions, carrots and garlic in unpeeled, but I find that taking a few minutes to peel them creates much less foam and much less skimming work for me!
To make my stock nice and hearty, I brown the chicken pieces in a splash of olive oil in the bottom of the stock pot. Once they are nice and golden, throw in the carrots, halved onion, garlic, peppers, a sprinkle of peppercorns and grate the ginger over the top. Then, pour in the water, bring to a boil, and reduce to low, uncovered. The longer you cook the stock the better- but I find that after 2 ½ hours, especially if you brown the chicken first, the stock is of satisfactory taste.
Strain the stock and return to the stock pot. Let the chicken cool until you can handle it. At this point you can throw the stock in the fridge over night and skim the fat off the top, or you can just move ahead with a rich stock! When the chicken is cool enough to touch, pull the meat off the bone and throw it in the pot. Once all the chicken is returned to the stock, over a medium flame, add the rice/vermicelli/pasta if you wish and cook till soft- usually only a few minutes. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste! At this point I usually grate more ginger into the final soup, but you will have to see how you feel about the ginger-lemon combo! A little cilantro garnish is a nice touch too…