tom ka gai: thai chicken soup for the soul, and the sick.

There is nothing I abhor more than being sick. The runny nose, unceasing cough, lymph nodes the size of golf balls, and listlessness that usually results in me entering in random contests online because my mind cannot handle anything more strenuous. Heck, for my brain activity to cease it can either vaguely concentrate on winning free appliances (which I would never use) from Canadian House and Home magazine, or watch Jersey Shore (watching people I hope I would never become). I prefer the former, and would shoot myself before ever allowing the alternative.

Soup, soup, soup. I know, you all believe thats all I've been talking about lately. Well, actually, it is all I've been talking about lately. But, perhaps there was some higher power whispering to me, telling me "Sam, you are going to be sick, stock up that soup in the freezer like a beaver with logs,  a squirrel with nuts, a mongoose with eggs, a fat man with chocolate, a crazy old lady with cats to throw, or hip Japanese with hair gel." (you should all realize by now that God didn't tell me this, Nyquil did).
So I made soup. Yet again. Soup. But dang, it was good. And creamy enough to soothe my throat while spicy enough to help me regain my voice from that of a 95-year old cantankerous smoker -- yes, I was a darn sexy secretary for a day, when they could even hear me. 
After leftover soup, I bundled into my aunt's car while wrapped in a blanket (well, actually, this particular blanket is like my adult 'blankie' -- its white, fuzzy, and perfect all over. I walk around the apartment with it draped over me, even going so far as to cook with it on -- never a good idea). My mom was arriving back from Ontario, and so with soup in my stomach for fortitude, and a sign in my hand for love, we drove to pick her up. Airports are just full of love - people crying they are so happy to see one another. I could spend hours in the arrivals area at an airport. And I truly believe that everyone should experience having someone waiting with a sign, at least once in their life. However, with mine, I thought I might have a flock of middle aged women begin to follow me.
So after much coughing and waving (I'm not hugging anyone right now, as much as I would love to), my night ended. Productive, rambling, and once again, soup-y.
Tom Ka Gai (Thai Chicken Soup)

6 c. chicken stock
2 chicken breasts, sliced
1 lemongrass stalk, tender white flesh minced, and long stalks cut into three
3 kaffir limes leaves (I use dried)
1 thumb-size piece ginger, minced or grated
2 bird chilies, chopped (use gloves!!)
1 can coconut milk
1/2 lime, juiced
3 tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 c. fresh coriander leaves
1/2 c. fresh basil leaves
1 c. mushrooms, sliced
3 green onions, cut finely
1/2 c. bell pepper, sliced
1/2 c. cherry tomatoes
1 c. bean sprouts

1. Simmer the first nine ingredients together in a soup pot over medium heat. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

2. Add the veggies and simmer for another 5. Serve with a few cut green onions and cilantro for garnish.

3. Pray. Eat. Enjoy. Sniffle a bit, then revel in a sick day.


Joshua Duvauchelle said...

In quickly scanning this post, two things jumped out at me: "Jersey Shore" and "hair gel." I did a double-take and decided this post deserved to be read in full. Mostly so that I wouldn't start worrying about a sudden drop in your social status. Also, that soup looks delicious.