Wednesday, April 30, 2008

chicken soup for zapping the giant fuzzy bacterium

Student living with nine (yes, nine) roommates from nine (yes, nine) different countries is a little bit like being in kindergarten again. No, I don't say this because of the occasional bouts of fun immaturity or the group naptime we sometimes have in front of the TV. I actually mean it more from a germs (yes, germs) point of view.

Here, enjoy the picture of the pretty flower since none of the pictures of my chicken soup turned out very well (my excuse: I'm sick).

Simple math: ten people + same dwelling = biohazard. This isn't to say our place isn't clean - because it is. But the law of the giant fuzzy bacterium dictates that it is scientifically impossible not to be germ-infested given our close quarters ... which means for us poor kids, there are plenty of coughs and sniffles to go around.

Fortunately, no matter what corner of the world we're from, we can all agree on a universal remedy: chicken soup. And because I've been sick here more in the last eight months than in the previous eight years, this means there have been plenty of chances to fine-tune my very own cure-all, chicken soup recipe.

Yes, folks, the homemade Model United Nations / World Health Organization Lemon-Lime Chicken Soup is another original offering brought to you by the dingobear kitchen. The recipe follows; here's hoping you won't have to reach for it too often (like I've been doing the last little while). Enjoy.

Model United Nations / World Health Organization Lemon-Lime Chicken Soup
1.5 litres of sodium-reduced chicken broth
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
300 to 350 grams of white chicken meat, cubed
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 small-medium white potatoes, cubed
2 small-medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 splash of milk or fresh cream
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 lime, juiced
several dashes of salt and pepper to taste
several dashes of tumeric (optional)

After all of your ingredients have been chopped and made ready to go, warm the olive oil at medium-high heat in a large stockpot. Once hot, add the onion and a few dashes of salt. Toss with a wooden spoon for about a minute or until the onion is translucent. Next, add the chicken and continue tossing with the wooden spoon for a few minutes. Once brown, you can add the potatoes, carrots and celery. Toss for a couple more minutes. The idea is to pretty much coat all of your ingredients with the olive oil at high heat, to bring out the different flavours.

At this point, your kitchen should be smelling pretty good, but the brown bits should be burning onto the bottom of your stockpot. Time to add the chicken broth - and, as you do, make sure you use your wooden spoon to lightly scrape those brown bits off, as this will augment the flavour of the soup. Next, stir or squeeze in the lime and lemon juice and then after, the milk or fresh cream. Season with salt and pepper as required and dash in the tumeric (which will add to the yellow colour of the soup) if so desired.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low-medium. Cover and let the soup simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

This recipe is good for 6 to 8 servings, and actually tastes better if you refrigerate it overnight and reheat it on the stove the following day, as it allows the lime and lemon juices to permeate all of the fresh ingredients in the soup. Enjoy!

Oh, all right, fine: here's a photo of my Model UN / WHO Lemon-Lime Chicken Soup. It actually looks better than this in real-life but apparently I don't have the capacity to operate a camera when I'm dying of the stomach flu.


  1. dingobear, I have a winner variation of the chicken soup/penicillin that I'll have to share with you one of these days. Chilli and ginger is the answer to your woes!

  2. Mashed ... that would be much appreciated! I've been sick far too often this year ...

  3. For once I actually felt sorry for the germs. Imagine you don't know what you get into. Nine different varieties of human kind to deal with. Mmmmmmm good or yakeeee! I wonder Swedes know of the old fashioned canned Campbell soup. It might not taste like home-made, it is sure handy!

  4. Zhu, natural selection has mean that the germs here are some kind of supergerms. I don't feel sorry for them at all!

    Yes, you can buy Campbell's soup in the supermarkets here in Sweden. Problem is, it's very expensive! Cheaper just make your own.