Hot Soup on a Cold Day
Mmmm, soup. There's nothing like indulging in a hot bowl of hearty soup on a cold wintery day. I made one of my favorite soups today: my own version of Greek Lemon Chicken Soup, and it got me thinking. How quick are we to dismiss the pleasure and value of a comforting and nutritious meal? We grab something on our way to work. We settle for something in our time-limited lunch. And we throw something together when we get home, or order-in. Now, it is understandable that we live busy lives and don't always have the time to cook. But sometimes making the time to at least be mindful about our meals is well worth the effort.
Whether we enjoy cooking or we don't care to even boil water, we can always find a way to take a few minutes to focus only on the meal before us (whether we made it or not). Our society loves to multi-task. And so we are constantly dealing with thoughts running through our heads, and we are regularly problem-solving while doing other things. But what if taking a brief time-out to only focus on the food we're eating is enough to recharge our energy so that we can be our most productive selves?
Growing up, conversations around the dinner table other than those about food were not all that encouraged. That's because the aim was to focus on savoring our meal and appreciating the present moment. We believed that this was simply healthier for our digestion and it made the experience of gathering around the table a more meaningful one. Now, this "rule" about food-only conversations can certainly be open for interpretation. However, the best way I feel to enjoy a meal is to, well, enjoy the meal. Because when we are focused too much on other things, unfortunately, we tend to eat too fast, swallow too much air, and tense our stomachs, which can make us feel bloated and promote indigestion.
Now, if we really want to discuss other topics while we eat, let's at least be mindful of the meal we are consuming. Meaning, let's at least try to focus somewhat on slowing our pace while we eat and savoring the moment as we spend time with loved-ones. And if we are eating alone, let's try to put our worries of the day on the back-burner and give ourselves even a few minutes of worry-free indulgence as we savor our food and think about nothing else. We all deserve a time-out from time-to-time, so why not do it over a meal? Isn't it the perfect excuse?
Here is my recipe for my version of Greek Lemon Chicken Soup. I'm not big into measuring so this is a loose recipe. Feel free to add or take away as you wish.
1.5. organic lemons
A cup or so of cooked rice
2 egg yolks
A dash of cumin
A sprinkle of paprika
A dash of salt
A sprinkle of garlic powder
A handful of organic parsley (Italian or curly is fine)
A handful of organic cilantro
2 small to medium sized organic carrots
1 large organic onion
3 cloves of organic garlic
1 small piece of organic ginger
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
And if you are brave enough, 5 small chicken feet for extra collagen infusion
Chop onion and add to pot.
Peel carrots, chop, and add to pot.
Dice garlic and ginger and add to pot.
Chop parsley and cilantro and add to pot.
Add chicken [and chicken feet (apres pedicure) if you dare].
Add cumin, salt, paprika, and garlic powder (black pepper too if you like).
Put in a splash of apple cider vinegar (this brings out more calcium into the broth).
Now bring the soup to a boil. Be careful not to spill over. Once boiling, turn to low heat and let simmer for about 45 min. to an hour. Flip chicken over (carefully) and let simmer for another 45 minutes to an hour on very low heat.
Once chicken is fully cooked, take it out of the pot (as well as the chicken feet if you used them).
Add in your cooked rice.
Take some chicken meat (say a breast and a bit of thigh) and chop it up. Place it back in the pot.
In a separate bowl, add 2 egg yolks and whisk with a fork. Then add the lemon juice. Whisk together.
With a ladle, ladle in a bit of hot broth slowly as you mix the egg and lemon. This prevents the eggs from curdling.
Then pour that lemon and egg mixture into the soup. Bring the soup to boil again to cook the egg and then you're done. Season to taste and enjoy!
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