It has been very cold and both my daughters got sick a few days ago. I thought it was time to make my mother's special pot of hearty chicken and vegetable soup to make them feel better. My mother's chicken soup varied each time depending on the severity of how sick we were growing up and the type of ingredients she had lying around in her kitchen at the time or what was seasonally available in the market. It could be a bland chicken wing soup with lots of parsley and a bowl of cooked turnip on the side, or a joojeh (young chicken) with all kinds of vegetables and a good squirt of lemon juice. According to my mother, a bowl of chicken soup or eating a couple of cooked shalgham (turnip) was as good as a shot of penicillin.
There are countless numbers of chicken soup recipes worldwide. Every country, or rather everyone, has their own favorite version. It's believed that chicken soup has healing properties. Whether that's true or not I believe that there's something magical in that bowl of warm homemade soup that makes you feel better in addition to taking your medications and getting enough rest.
My mother made this recipe many times while I was growing up. However, she would rarely add tomatoes or noodles to the soup. I, on the other hand, like to add a couple of small tomatoes to enhance the taste and the color. Adding noodles makes the soup a bit more substantial. For a healthier soup I don't brown the chicken pieces with the chopped onion. I also don't use any canned ingredients such as tomato sauce and I don't use black pepper either. You may leave the chicken skin on but I prefer removing it for a less greasy soup.
Soup-e Morgh o Sabzijat - Chicken Vegetable Soup
4 chicken drumsticks, rinsed, skin removed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium turnips, cubed
2 small carrots, chopped into small pieces
2 celery stalks, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small tomatoes, remove the skin, chopped
A bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
A bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
A bunch of scallions or chives, chopped
A handful of vermicelli noodles
2 medium lime or lemons
Salt to taste
- In a large pot place the chicken pieces, onion, garlic, turnip, carrots, tomatoes and celery.
- Add 6 cups of water and a pinch of salt, bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 45 minutes.
- Add the chopped fresh vegetables (parsley, cilantro, scallions) and the noodles. Add more water if needed. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Add the lime juice, taste and adjust the seasoning.
Ladle the soup into a serving bowl and serve hot.
Ask Attar about the sadness of my pain
Ask a patient about the length of a night
Everyone asks how I am
You that are my heart and soul, ask me for once
~ Baba Taher
My humble translation
Enjoy! Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2013!