Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quickie Sickie Soup

We've all been in this situation. You're at the office and you feel something creeping up on you, veery gradually... You find yourself tuckered out before lunchtime, despite the fact that you've only been reading and answering e-mail all morning; your head starts hurting just a bit; your sinuses sneakily puff up, and your neck starts giving you just a hint of soreness. Yup. That's the flu trying to get a hold of you, all right. Aaaaaaargh! Nooooo! You patiently wait for the day to be over, and then ooze your way home for some all important nip-it-in-the-bud sleep. But before you hit the sheets, what can you have for dinner that's fast, zero-effort and involves the almighty flu-stopping chicken broth? Quickie Sickie Soup, of course.

I've made this soup more times than I can remember. Not only does it serve as an easy tummy-warmer / flu-killer; I've also been known to make this for lunch when friends drop by unexpectedly, and there's nothing more to serve them than my barest larder staples. This isn't Cordon Bleu, folks. But hey - it's good for what ails 'ya. And if you have it with a piece of cheese and a bit of bread, you've got all the food groups covered.

Quickie Sickie Soup

The following is the At Death's Door version of the recipe. Feel free to add more ingredients if you have the time or strength; just make sure to up the amount of stock if you do, or else you'll end up with a stew instead of a soup. Note : all of these measurements are approximations, because when you're sick, you can't be bothered to use measuring cups. 
  • 4 cups (1 litre) of chicken stock / broth / whatever chickeny liquid you've got lying around. For this specific example, I used a 900 ml carton of organic broth. Hey man, that's all I had!
  • 2 carrots, grated with a box grater (1 to 1 1/2 cup).
  • Half a bag of tiny red lentils (the bags I buy are 450g) - that translates to about 3/4 cup-ish. Put them in a colander and rinse them a bit under the tap to remove any grit.

Step 1: heat the broth in a pot and bring it to a boil.

Step 2: throw in the lentils and the carrots. Bring the soup to a simmer and keep it that way for about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice to make sure the lentils don't stick to the bottom.

Step 3: taste the soup. If the lentils are soft, and the carrots are cooked, it's done. Add some salt and pepper if necessary (I didn't - the boxed broth was salty enough, and pepper would have tickled my precious little sickie throat).

Step 4: eat the soup with a bit of cheese. Leave the dishes for tomorrow. Go to bed.

Feel better!