A nourishing bowl of chicken soup is healing in a way that Dolo isn’t. It works inside out and all one needs is some chicken on-the-bone, spices and salt. Proceed to build on this foundation with vegetables, herbs and carbs.
A basic soup can be made in a pressure cooker. Take one kilo organic (or desi) chicken on the bone, add salt, ginger and pepper and three cups of water. Cook in low flame for 20-25 minutes. Shred the chicken pieces with a fork and serve with bread. For anyone recovering from a bought of seasonal flu or Covid-19, this lazy recipe will work like magic. For more complexity—and to switch things up a bit—leave it to expert chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi, Kunal Kapur or the good folks at the food magazine Bon Appétit.
Kunal Kapur’s recipe and tips to buy chicken
The Masterchef shows how to make restaurant-style chicken soup rich in body and flavours. While watching the video, take notes from the segment on how to buy good quality chicken. And, just as most Indian home cooks, he uses a pressure cooker. The best recipes on YouTube are the ones that feel most familiar.
How to carve a boiled chicken
Food magazine Bon Appétit’s recipes are not only foolproof, but also yield satisfying—and delicious—results. They break down each step with clarity and often explain why an ingredient matters. For instance, in this recipe for chicken soup, onion halves are used with skin to elevate the colour. Host and cookbook author Molly Baz explains how to make an flavourful broth and demonstrates carving a whole chicken for the most tender bits. This soup also has pasta and Baz talks about why she picked tiny ditalini, instead of penne or fusilli. No prizes for guessing the reason is related to saving time. Nothing compares to using a whole chicken, but feel free to experiment with chicken pieces, add different vegetables, like beans and include herbs of your choice.
Upgrade with parmesan
This recipe shares similarities with the one on Bon Appétit. Yotam Ottolenghi calls it the Magical Chicken and Parmesan Soup for he adds the rinds of the cheese to elevate the flavour of the broth. Cheese rinds are a storehouse of umami; instead of discarding, chop and throw them into any broth and you’d be surprised how the taste transforms. He also shares a quick tomato toast recipe to accompany the rich and yummy soup.
Also read | A little known winter delicacy of Mumbai