Soup for the Soul

soup - food for the soulThe “Chicken Soup for the Soul” is more than a book; it is an international brand that sold over 5M copies, translated in 40 languages, distributed in 100 countries, and counting. It took time before Jack Canfield, the author, thought of the title that gave this book an unprecedented success. The title is apt because like the comfort food chicken soup, the book brings comfort to people looking for inspiration and hope.

Now back to the chicken soup as the ultimate comfort food. It brings back memories of childhood, home and family. During winters, it provides everyone around the table some warmth to ward off the chills. And if you’re feeling downhearted or ill, a bowl of chicken soup is a promise that everything will be better. Thus, Johanna Derry asks: Comfort Soups: Nostalgia in a bowl or magic medicine? Read about it in The Guardian as she presents the versions from three chefs:

“Is it possible to put your finger on what makes classic winter soups like chicken soup, miso soup and daal so nourishingly good?

  • Mark Ogus, the brains behind Jewish street-food stall Monty’s Deli,
  • Japanese chef Yuki Gomi, who’s worked with Miso Tasty, and
  • Selina Periampillai from the Taste Mauritius supper club each state their case for their favourite.

Mark Ogus – chicken soup

Ogus talks about his Jewish family’s well-guarded secret and chicken soup tradition. It is prepared every Friday night. The aroma of the cooking comfort food pervades the home, and to this day the aroma never fails to make him feel comforted. It is also a soup that’s rich in amino acids. Chicken soup is something that prevents wastage as everything can be used.

Yuki Gomi – miso soup

Like Ogus, the scent of hōtō noodle miso soup also reminded Gomi of home and family. Miso is very Japanese, a core ingredient in their cuisine that’s made from fermented beans. A miso-based can have a variety of flavors depending on what is added, which can range from vegetables and meat to noodles and mushrooms.  There are no rules; the only rule is to learn the basic miso soup.

Selina Periampillai – daal

Daal is a traditional Indian dish, also a comfort food among them. It is more robust with mushed mung beans cooked for a long time and flavored with aromatic spices and other vegetables. There are as many varieties of daal as there are versions of chicken soup. Periampillai favors chana daal that is made from yellow split peas, garlic, onion, ginger, curry leaves in olive oil, chilli and spiced with turmeric and salt. This soup is used as an Ayurvedic remedy. Like miso soup, it has no rules making it a really versatile dish.

Chicken soup is like a gold standard when it comes to comfort food. If cooking one is a challenge or you want variety, there are so many ways to make a big pot to share with the family. “Here are 25 favorites from around the world.” Get the recipes from this blog, “25 Comforting Chicken Soup Recipes” posted in Cooking Light. Try these; you may just uncover a treasure that you can keep like an heirloom in the family’s well-guarded traditions.

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