Thursday, February 23, 2006


Could there be a better nobler use for chickens than chicken soup? Noah has a cold. He's a sneezin' and a coughin', and he's not happy about it. From the medical perspective, he has been advised to get rest and liquids, and we have been told that he's fine and we just need to keep an eye on him. Time for some chicken soup.

Let me tell you a story. Imagine me, a tiny lad, sick with a cold at home in Toledo. I'm miserable. Maybe I'm reading a little, maybe I'm under a blanket on the couch watching some tube. I believe it's 1985, and Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n Wrestling is on. The door opens. It's Bubby! And she's brought over an entire pot of chicken soup! With kreplach! Am I better? Almost immediately? You know it!

So it goes with my own child. Bubby would always give me a kiss and say she was taking the cold for herself. Now that she's in her 90s, I just deal with it. I don't need to give her a cold. But Noah's, I'll try to take away, because it seemed to work so well on me. The only question is what to put in the soup.

Until I went away to college, if I was in Toledo on a Sunday evening, odds are I was at Bubby's for dinner. It almost always started with soup - sometimes vegetable barley, but usually chicken. Floating in the soup could be any number of things - a piece of carrot, a little celery, some parsley I ate around, a parsnip...but the good stuff was big, and took Bubby a lot more effort than we realized at the time. Often there would be a giant matzoh ball, a grand island in the middle of the soup dish. Other times there would just be noodles, the soup being allowed to take center stage, almost too hot to eat, viscous with luminous oily swirls on top. The best times though, the soup would arrive with three or four kreplach waiting to be devoured. I love kreplach, which is a sort of Jewish wonton, a kosher dumpling filled with meat and browned in the oven before going into the soup. Krepach night always meant seconds, even if it meant eating less of the main course.

This time though, I think Noah's going to get noodles. Kreplach might be a bit advanced for him right now, and I want to take it easy on him until he feels better. For his birthday though, instead of a cake I think he's getting a bowl of kreplach and Rock 'n Wrestling on DVD. He'll love it.

Update: Anyone know how to get him to try the soup? He doesn't even want to look at it.

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Kendra Lynn said...

Wow...not sure what type of soup that is, but it sure looks "tasty" as Merry would say. :)

Looking forward to seeing you all on March 5th.

tAnYeTTa said...

YUMMMMMYYYYY!!!! Please share the recipe if there's one. ;)

Jonathan said...

Thank you. It's half Alton Brown (see "I'm Just here for the Food") half Joan Nathan ("Jewish Cooking in America."), and half my grandmother. It couldn't be simpler:

1. Cut up a whole chicken (I like Empire free range kosher birds),
2. Cover it with four quarts of water and bring to a boil,
3. Skim the foam!
4. Reduce to a simmer and add some vegetables: two or three stalks of celery with the tops, 6 carrots, some parsley, a parsnip, and an onion (with the skin on for color).
5. Simmer for as long as possible. 6-8 hours is great, to extract the maximum collagen from the chicken. Skim foam periodically.
6. Strain into another bowl, and immediately cool to below 40 degrees, either with a bag of ice in the soup, a a cold back porch with the lid on, or in a sink full of ice water.
7. Refrigerate overnight, skim fat. Heat and serve with noodles, matzoh ball, etc. Keeps 3 days in fridge, I belive about three months frozen.

Judy said...

Now THAT is an onion! That is what will chase the cold away!

By the way, FYI on allergies, sniffles, stomach issues, etc...YOGURT is a VERY GOOD THING. All those live bacterial cultures that are in yogurt are acidophilus and all those other "in" words we keep hearing about nowadays. Tyler is a yogurt fiend, and I'm not going to say he doesn't get sick, but he seems to be able to handle it better and we rarely go to the doctor.

Also, for you, and Noah when he's older...honey. Make sure it is a "local" honey - as close to home as you can get it. Bees use the local pollen to make honey, thus providing your body with natural antibodies and natural histamines to fight off sniffles and allergy-prone noses. And, it is tasty. Couldn't hurt!

Yes, thank you, thank you, Dr. Judy at your service! LOL

Note the time - it is late so I am a bit on the rambly side! LOLOLOL