Ginger Chicken Broth with Bok Choy

I woke up Saturday morning with the type of cold that makes you feel like maybe you're never going to breathe normally again.  The type of situation where I definitely needed to speak to a medical professional but it was Saturday so I couldn't.  

walking in a forest of uncooked leafy greens

walking in a forest of uncooked leafy greens

On Sunday I remembered the blessing which is MinuteClinic, but then couldn't find one that was a) open and, b) would see me before they closed.  It was suddenly way less of a blessing and so I went home and slept for three hours.  I woke up on Monday morning sure that I would feel better but then I stood up and definitely felt far worse than I had before.

when i was a kid i spend so much time pretending to be sick that i still sometimes think I'm lying when i'm actually sick.

when i was a kid i spend so much time pretending to be sick that i still sometimes think I'm lying when i'm actually sick.

The initial reaction I had was to eat almost nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas all weekend.  It wasn't my intention but then I kept waking up in a stupor and not having the energy to cook anything else for myself.  I actually blame my mother for not being there to feed me.  

Since cheese and bread are not especially nutrient dense food, I was eating them a lot because I was constantly hungry.  So on Monday when I went back to MinuteClinic and finally got my name on the list, I used my one hour wait time (UGH) to purchase various ingredients for the type of soup that I decided would definitely heal me.  

It did.  I feel better.  The healing came from some combination of this soup and the antibiotics and other medicines that were prescribed to me by the doctor.  I mostly give credit to the soup, though. And myself.  Obviously.

There is sometimes very little that is more empowering than figuring out what it is your body needs and providing those things.  My body told me this weekend that it needed sleep, melted cheese, snuggles from everyone around me and to watch both seasons of Mozart in the Jungle. On Monday my body stopped completely giving up on me and asked for chicken broth and leafy greens.  I provided exactly that in a very pure form.  Maybe I'll start providing them more often.  Preventative medicine.

Ginger Chicken soup with Bok Choy

for the broth:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 chicken wing
  • 1 onion quarter
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 large pinch of salt
  • 1 large pinch pepper

Add these ingredients to a large heavy-bottomed and fill with water.  My pot is six quarts, and i probably filled it with 5 quarts of water.  If your pot is larger, add more water and maybe a few more chunks of chicken and other seasonings.  We're making a very unfussy chicken stock here, so don't stress.

Simmer mixture on medium heat for 3 hours or until the broth is flavorful.  It may need a little more salt  Strain.  Discard solids.

for the soup:

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp finely minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp finely minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 bunch bok choy, end cut off and leaves washed
  • 1 handful vermicelli noodles

In a large pan with a lid, saute sesame oil, ginger, garlic and miso paste for a few minutes over medium high heat until the mixture is evenly combined.  Add 3 cups of chicken stock and stir to combine.  Add bok choy and cover for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  You may have to do this in a couple of rounds, so add more chicken broth if too much of the liquid seems to have evaporated.  

Remove bok choy and add vermicelli noodles, if using.  Simmer for 5 minutes or until tender.

Serve immediately.  Serves 2.