As many parents know, when your child is sick you will try anything to make them feel better. It is helpful to realize that their sickness will have to run its course and encouraging to think that their sicknesses now will help them fight future infections later by strengthening their immune system (thanks Aunt Rachie for your medical insight!). Let 's be honest: no one thinks these things during those stressful crying and fussing sessions that seem to never end.
Even after I have put Delilah to bed I find myself worrying about her breathing and is she okay? It is just as stressful as when she was awake, and there is no more wine in this house! Or cookies. Or Once Upon A Time to watch. So instead let me reminisce about my day of cooking.
I set out at 7:50 am to pick up supplies to make Jewish Penicillin aka Chicken Soup. The kind with the bones and skin. The real stuff. There is something about the fat from the chicken and probably the marrow in the bones that makes you feel better. Not to mention all the health benefits from the vitamins and minerals released by the fresh vegetables and herbs that make the broth taste so good. I finish mine off with a squeeze of fresh lemon and chopped dill. The lemon and herbs are a go-to homeopathic ingredient, having many health benefits. Again, it also just taste darn good.
Chicken Soup with Lemon
(all ingredients are organic as this was for my infant daughter. If that is unattainable splurge on the chicken as it is the main component)
1 whole free range chicken or chicken parts that include the bone and skin
2 stalks celery
2-3 carrots (I used red and yellow locally grown)
1 medium turnip
2 cloves garlic
a few springs dill and/or parsley, plus more for garnish
5-6 whole peppercorns
salt to taste
Combine all ingredients except the lemon in a large stock pot. Cover with water till it is 1 inch above the chicken. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for at least 2 hours, more if possible, skimming the surface for impurities. Resist skimming the fat. There shouldn't be that much as there is no added oils and a free range, organic chicken has better quality fat. Take the chicken out on a cutting board and take off the meat. Scoop vegetables out and decide what to keep. Chop the larger pieces into bite size chunks. Strain the stock. Add the lemon juice.
For baby, I kept some of the broth separate. I also pureed a small amount of the chicken and vegetables with some broth.
I think the best part of making this soup is the whole family benefits from the immune boost. As I finish writing this I recall how my own throat has been hurting for the past hour and how I will most likely experience cold symptoms when I wake up. Then Bryan will get them. Hopefully ingesting this soup will make the cold less intense and take less time to get over. Time to get a bowl..........and I only checked the monitor twice!