Today marks the first day of Spring here in Australia. Whilst it's all fine and dandy to harp on about “rejuvenation” and “reinvigoration” my sinuses think otherwise! Yes, I'm one of those sinus sufferers that looks forward to this time of the year with mixed emotions. As we speak, my eyes are watering and I have this uncontrollable urge to sneeze madly. I can also feel that my body is weaker. You see, my sinus pains usually end up turning into a cold. Double whammy!
I'm not going to feel sorry for myself either. I’m going to combat this the best way I know. Soup. And more specifically, “kotosoupa” or chicken soup. A quick look through Souvlaki For The Soul and I realise that I have never featured a recipe for chicken soup! To me, chicken soup is the perfect “pick me up” food. There has been a lot written about its therapeutic qualities and how it can help boost the immune system in battling colds and flus. I'm not too sure what the exact science is behind it but I suspect it has to do with a number of things. I'm sure we’ve all been sick at some point and suddenly felt better when mum (or dad) has served up a nice, warm batch of chicken soup. I know it can come across as a bit of a cliche but I know I instantly feel better when I hungrily tuck into a bowl of this wonder food.
I know that every country has its own version of chicken soup. Traditionally, I've seen it served with noodles but in my household it was always made with rice. And it was always finished off with the traditional avgolemono sauce that Greeks are renowned for. (you can find instructions to make avgolemono on my giouvarlakia recipe). However, in the last few years I've shunned finishing the chicken soup off with this egg-lemon sauce. I like to really enjoy the broth and consider myself a bit of a “broth guy”. I still use rice and sometimes I even use Jasmine rice for something a little different. I also like to further flavour my chicken soup with carrots, celery and onions. And I always squeeze some fresh lemon juice right at the end to give it a slight tang. The hardest part is trying to serve up that “perfect bowl”. It has to be the right amount of broth, chicken, rice and veggies. (I'm a little fussy like that!). I'm sure there are numerous ways to make chicken soup. What's your favourite?