Linden Font

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

A sniffly soup

Ginger, garlic and lemongrass chicken soup

This morning I woke at 4am. Blocked schnoz, dry throat and dodgy tummy. Fun fun fun! The day before I'd ridden to work sans gloves. It felt as though someone was driving pins into my fingers. I'm going to blame that because my constitution is a bit like a delicate flower - a slight breeze and I'm wilting, pleading for my smelling salts.

I lay in bed grumbling for an hour or two (that Matt, he's such a lucky guy to end up with a gal like me!) and decided work was not going to happen. I'm that person who chastises sick people for coming to work, spreading their nasties around the office. It probably wouldn't be cool for me to do the same.

I couldn't resist though - I had a giant spreadsheet with 16,000 pieces of data that was crying out for analysing. Is it wrong that this is close to my favourite thing to do on earth? Making the cells light up with conditional formatting? Sorting data until the cows come home? Filtering results like my life depends on it? A few select friends actually call me the Data Bitch. And it's a name I embrace.

Ginger, garlic and lemongrass chicken soup

After a few hours of Excel fun, it was lunch time. I knew the key to ridding myself of the germies (as the World Health Organisation refers to them) was water, ginger and garlic. I downed glass after glass of water all day long, and ginger and garlic would sing in my soup for lunch.

This is kinda like a clear curry - no coconut cream, but all those amazing fresh flavours. Ginger was my main man, closely followed by garlic, then lemongrass, with chilli and coriander roots bringing up the rear. Of course the broth was chicken, because chicken soup is good for the soul (duh).

And finally, noodles. Although I was looking for a light delicate soup, I needed a bit of somethin' somethin' that would carry me through the afternoon. Singapore noodles are my new favourite. Fear not, other noodles. I am a fickle woman and it will be each of your turn again soon.

Ginger, garlic and lemongrass chicken soup

In little over 15 minutes, soup was up. I slurped it up in record time - so good. I turned back to my spreadsheet. Sniffles were subsiding, but droopy eyes were setting in. It was a lose-lose situation - keep working and make a giant error cutting vital data. Or sleep and... wait... this was not lose-lose after all. Since when is sleep a bad thing? I woke up and the sniffles were a thing of the past. I'm amazed and slightly ashamed at what I can achieve in my sleep.


4cm piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 long red chilli
3 roots of coriander
5cm piece of lemongrass
1 tsp palm sugar
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 chicken thighs
2 litres of water
1 cob of corn
1 cup broccoli stalks
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tbsp white sugar
Coriander leaves

Ginger, garlic and lemongrass chicken soup

Slice ginger and pound with a mortar and pestle along with the garlic, chilli, coriander and lemongrass to a fine paste. Add the palm sugar and pound until uniform in texture.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom saucepan. Add the paste and fry over low heat for around 4 minutes, stirring regularly. Slice the chicken finely and add the the saucepan. Stir to coat with the paste. Add the water and bring to the boil. Add the fish sauce and sugar. Simmer for around 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and corn and simmer for a further 3 minutes with the lid on.

Add the noodles and coriander leaves to your soup bowl.  Ladle over the soup, making sure you get enough pieces of chicken, broccoli and corn.

Ginger, garlic and lemongrass chicken soup

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