When we lived in China, Miriam acquired the nickname “Mimi.” Originally this meant “Kitty cat.” Her kindergarten teacher changed one tone, so that it meant “Riddle cat,” because she asked so many questions.
Today, she called up to say that she was sick and could not hold down food. She wanted some of Papa’s soup to make her all better. Would I possible say, “No?” Yes, she is almost ****** now, but my baby needs me.
While this was not a refrigerator soup, I made it with what I had on hand. A frozen chicken breast, a bit of leftover onion, a bit of vegetables. Around our house, honey lemon is the cure-all for colds, so I decided to add a bit of them to the soup. I have recently discovered tarragon and I thought it would be a more interesting choice than thyme, as well as going well with the lemon and honey.
Karl’s Mimi’s Sick Chicken Soup
2 Tbs. butter, separate uses
1 chicken breast, cut into small bites
¼ cup onion, chopped finely
1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
1 carrot, sliced thinly
½ tsp. Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic
32 oz. low sodium chicken broth
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. tarragon
½ tsp. black pepper
1. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a soup pot and brown the chicken bits well.
Tip: I cut the chicken into fairly small bits (¼ by ¾ inch), but you might prefer larger pieces. My goal was to get as much Maillard reaction as possible to boost the flavor of the broth.
2. Remove the chicken to a bowl and use the second tablespoon of butter to deglaze the pot.
3. Sauté the onion, celery and carrot with the salt until soft, about five minutes.
4. Pull the vegetables to the sides of the pot and add the garlic to the hole in the center.
5. Sauté the garlic until fragrant, about one minute.
6. Stir in the chicken broth and lemon juice. Add the honey, tarragon, and pepper.
Tip: Tarragon is usually sold as large dried leaves. I prefer to turn them mostly into a powder by rubbing them between my fingers.
7. Return the chicken to the pot.
Tip: Since Myr is having trouble keeping food down, I am adding only a little bit of the chicken back to the pot. The rest I am bagging so she may add it to the soup as she feels better. She can also add some cooked rice or pasta as she appetite returns.
8. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
9. Serve hot.
Note: Although I am cooling it and putting it in serving containers, so she can make several meals out if it.