I got it, the yucky, dreaded cold.  Doubly worse, because I have to be so careful around Nigel, so he doesn't get sick from me.  Yesterday, I had a strong craving for chicken soup, but it seemed kind of crazy to make my usual whole chicken in a pot with garlic, carrots plus vegetables, if I am the only one eating it.  Thank goodness for our chicken stock, which is very concentrated, delicious and ready to use.  There is one bird's worth of goodness in two of the quart containers. Since I used two quarts of stock, I ended up with my one bird pot of soup.  Last night, I ate the basic soup plain. Today, because my chest hurts, I wanted a little more oomph, so I added some ginger, which really kicks up the heat, immediately makes you sweat and warms the chest.  I often don't salt my basic soup, so I have the choice to use it as a ramen broth salted with soy sauce, or maybe in a Tom Kha Gai, in which case much of the salt will come from fish sauce.  Today, I salted it with soy sauce.  To make the soup more hearty, add some thinly sliced sweet potatoes and diced fennel.  Cook the soup until the heartier vegetables are tender.  One last idea for the basic soup, I often turn my leftover soup into a risotto.  Heat it and use in place of the plain stock, if that isn't enough liquid, use more stock to top it off.

Basic Soup

2 Qts Eatwell Chicken Stock

Oil for sautéing

1 Onion, finely minced

2-4 cloves of Garlic, finely minced

2 stalks Celery, diced small

1 large or a couple medium/small Carrots, diced small

1 Bay Leaf

Stir Fry Mix, chopped small

1/2 tsp Turmeric

Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium low, add the onions.  Cook the onions until they soften, then add the garlic.  Cook another couple of minutes, you don't want the onion or garlic to brown at all.  Add the turmeric, carrots and celery, cook another few minutes to soften.  It should have a really yummy, basic comfort food aroma, the kind of smell that makes you hungry!  Add the bay leaf and the chopped greens.  Stir to coat the greens and cook just long enough to wilt the greens, then add the chicken stock.  Simmer for at least 10 minutes on a low simmer.  Season with salt and pepper, taste, cook on low longer if you like.  Just before serving, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

For my Gingered Chest Cold Soup

Simply grate a good amount of ginger right into the soup pot.  I was making just enough for myself. To give you a sense of portion, I was heating about 1 1/2 cups of soup and grated about 1 1/2" piece of ginger.  In my soup bowl, I put in 2 soup spoons of soft cooked rice, pour the hot soup over it, season with soy sauce or tamari to taste.  If you want to add texture and variety, you could thinly slice some radish and add that to the bowl right on top of the soup.