Saturday, February 10, 2007

Chicken soup for the bowl

I haven’t been particularly well this week, nothing fatal, just one of those ever so debilitating colds that aggravate your desire for comfort food. Luckily ‘comfort’ was a theme of mine of this week – more to come about this later.

I really fancied a chicken soup and on a brief foray to Waitrose I thought the Duchy Original Organic fresh chicken & leek with lemon and parsley might do the trick. Chicken – definitely considered therapeutic and isn’t lemon a main ingredient in the Greek Avgolemono soup (as well as an egg)? So surely this would make me feel much better.

But somehow it didn’t quite hit the mark. Maybe the first problem was when I tipped it from the plastic pot into the pan on the hob, it didn’t pour out as I expected but sat there like either a sandcastle fresh from the bucket or how I recall cat and dog food used to come out of the can before you took a fork to it. I squashed the solid soup down and continued stirring hoping that the consistency would improve on heating. And after plenty of stirring and gently heating it started to resemble soup, but still not with exactly the texture I desired. Secondly I wasn’t too sure about the colour, it was too green (from the leeks I guess) and with little pools of orange (from the diced carrots). I am sure all those lovely organic vegetables were doing me good but I just wanted a culinary hug, I wanted comfort. And I wanted my chicken just chickeny, creamy, yummy and not full of green vegetables. It just didn’t work for me today. Maybe I was hankering for good old Heinz Cream of Chicken soup from my childhood. I am sure it wasn’t as full of fabulously organic chicken and all the other goodies in the Duchy Originals soup is but it’s what I needed today. I think two of the important criteria of comfort food is simplicity and familiarity and this Duchy soup was a little too posh, too royal or something.

Perhaps the most sensible option would be to make my own chicken soup when I'm feeling better and freeze some for next time I have such an urge and not feeling so good. That would probably be best.

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