Calling Dr. Lagasse
After hanging around a cold garage waiting for my car’s diagnostic check, I caught quite a chill. I self medicated with teas and vitamin C and zinc the moment I felt the first tickle in my throat. I was able to dodge the flu season bullet, but with a compromised immune system and job that requires lots and lots of verbal communication I now sound like Kathleen Turner.
“I’m not really bad, I’m just drawn that way.”
It’s sexy but because I work around objects that people put into their mouths I at least want to sound as healthy as I feel.
I found this recipe from Emeril Lagasse’s. I bought all the ingredients tonight. Tomorrow I will sleep late and then I will make soup before my dinner shift at the brewhouse. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Adapted from Dr. E.’s Get-Well Chicken Vegetable Soup from Emeril’s New New Orleans Cooking
One of my good friends in New Orleans is Derby Gisclair, one of the last true gentle men in the world. One day Derby’s wife, Claire, called to cancel their dinner reservation because Derby wasn’t feeling well. What does a friend do at a time like this? I whipped up a batch of double strength chicken soup and sent it to the Gisclairs, with instructions from “Dr. E.” to bring the soup to a boil and eat it as hot as possible. The next day showed up for lunch at the restaurant, fit as a fiddle. Well, word got around, friends and relatives were putting in orders for “The Cure,” and soon I realized these people weren’t even sick. Good thing; I didn’t want to get busted for practicing medicine without a license.
You’ll enjoy this soup even if you’re not ailing, but when you prepare it, freeze a couple individual portions, just in case. One more hint: This is better if it’s made a day ahead and reheated.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs chicken meat, diced
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
10 turns freshly ground pepper
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon (altogether) creole seasonings such as paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder
pinch dried thyme
pinch dried oregano
2 cups assorted chopped vegetables such as green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, cabbage
1 cup torn spinach leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 quarts chicken stock
2 cups cooked noodles
Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. When the oil is hot add chicken, salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes or meat browns. Add the onion, celery, carrots, green onions, garlic, parsley, basil, bay leaves and creole seasonings and saute, stirring once or twice for about four minutes. Add the chopped vegetables, spinach and crushed red pepper and saute for 1 minute.
Add the stock to the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes. Add the noodles, bring back to boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Unless you’re too ill to wait, the soup will taste even better if you refrigerate it overnight. The next day, remove and discard any congealed fat on the top and reheat the soup over medium-low heat.