Sunday, January 1, 2012

My favourite recipe : "Super simple chicken soup"

There are days when you wanted to cook something so easy and fast since you are busy and just came back from work or you just plain lazy at that time! This calls for a soup. This has to be my easiest recipe. My mother taught me the basics of making a chicken soup and I made some adjustments to suit my taste bud. 

Although this is easy to make, don't underestimate the humble soup. You can turn it into a healthy offering for your family. There are also days where you are sick and do not have an appetite to eat. This is where heavenly therapeutic soups come in. Imagine the warm, soupy not to mention tasty liquid coming down your throat and gives you the energy boost from rice, potato and carrot!

Apparently, this long-time folk remedy is now a proven fact. A cup of chicken soul can help unclog your nasal passages. Researchers at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach found that hot chicken soup, either because of its aroma or its taste, "appears to possess an additional substance for increasing the flow of nasal mucus." These secretions which comes out when you blow your nose or sneeze, serve as a first line of defense in removing germs from your system, the researchers concluded.

Chicken soup also is my personal choice to serve my relatives who had just arrived from long distance travels. It is not only easy to make, it also soothing and sufficient after a long drive and an unsettled tummy. 

One of the special ingredient that I use in this recipe is something we called "sup bunjut" or soup spices. Sup bunjut is a combination of whole spices tied up inside a piece of small square muslin like bouquet garni. Bouquet garni uses fresh herbs in making soups but our sup bunjut uses dried spices. 

Nowadays, sup bunjut is conveniently packed and readily available. Inside those neat, tiny muslin wrapping, the exact amount of spices are measured for specific amount of chicken or beef to be cooked.

Give it a try!

What you need:

1 whole chicken (cut into 12 parts, remove the skin)

2 large onions (use whole, no need to cut smaller)

5 cloves of garlic (crushed)

3 cm ginger (crushed)

6 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs (chinese parsley or daun sup and spring onions or daun bawang)

6 tablespoons of fried shallots or bawang goreng

2 carrots (each cut into 3 portions)

4 potatoes (if large, cut into 2 portions)

3 tomatoes (each cut into 4 wedges)

1-2 sup bunjut or soup spices

Salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

1. In a large pot, boil water, sup bunjut, chicken, onions, garlic, ginger, potatoes and carrot.

2. When the chicken, carrots and potatoes are cooked, add half of the fresh herbs and half of the fried shallots.

3. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Turn off the heat and add the tomatoes, the remaining herbs and fried shallots.

Note: Did you notice that I did not use any oil in this recipe? There is no need to and it is also healthier!

Estimated cooking time: 30 minutes

Yield: serves 12

Photo credit:

Photo of sup bunjut from

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