Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chicken Soup for the Expat Soul

I know it's been forever.  It's almost like I dropped off the face of the earth.  I'm sorry for my neglect.  I just got caught up in this crazy new life I'm living.  So what have I been doing the last two months I haven't been blogging?  Traveling (San Francisco, Malaysia), eating of course, a very little cooking (it's still pretty tough to cook around here), and writing, although obviously not my blog.  I've been working on a new project, a food book for Taiwan along with a few other things.

But this post wasn't really going to be about me.  It was going to be about soup!  One of the first meals I made here in my new kitchen was this chicken soup.  We were going through a little bit of a rough patch, homesickness sticking to us like peanut butter sticks to a three year old.  So I decided to make some good old fashioned chicken soup to cheer us up and scratch our homesick itch.

It turned out really well for the most part.  I didn't have the patience or refrigerator space to make homemade stock, so I looked around our local supermarket for stock or boullion cubes or chicken base.  This is what I came up with.

It did taste a little like chicken, but it was also really salty, so I couldn't use a whole lot.  I have a feeling there was some serious MSG action in there too.  A side note - I am not against MSG per se.  However, it does tend to make both my husband and I swell up like balloons and give us raging headaches, so I try to stay away if I can. 

Anyways.  I used this as the base for my chicken soup.  I thought about going for the whole chicken and cutting it up to make the soup, but I was deterred by the chicken's head.  I can get used to a chicken's feet still being attached, but when he's got eyes to stare me down as I hack apart his body, that is a line I'm not ready to cross.  So I used a few different cuts.

I also found some really nice looking vegetables, all the things I would use for chicken soup back home - carrots, celery, onion, potato.

I basically just threw it all together with some herbs and some garlic and let it get happy.  And when it was done it made us happy.  It's nice that although we can't go home, we can have a meal from home every now and then.  Maybe not everything we want from home (especially without having an oven), but some things.  And that's good enough for us.  Well, for now at least.

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