This is Jewish Penicillin with a Greek accent made by an Episcopalian. I prescribe it to anyone who catches a cold. Over the holidays, the poor pitiful patient was me … I caught a dastardly cold, and then, I passed it on to all of my fellow family members. (And, I promise, I was taking precautions to cough into my elbow and everything!) But, alas, our family cold passed from sister to dad to sister. Once I was perky again, however, and my youngest gal was a sniffly mess, I put on my Dr. Mom scrubs and went to work on my sure-fire cure for the common cold: Cathy’s Feel Better Chicken Soup. Secret ingredient: Lemon.
When we lived in New York, a friend from Greece served us Greek Chicken Soup. It was very comforting, as chicken soup should be, but more so, its lemony accent gave it a wonderful flavor, as well as adding a nice shot of Vitamin C to supplement its curative powers. A few years later, I bought the cookbook, New York Cookbook by Molly O’Neill, which was full of great recipes from the neighborhood chefs of New York. And, lo and behold, there was an entire chapter on the chicken soups of New York City, from Jewish delis to family recipes … one of which was Katherine Polyzo’s Avgolemono, a Greek classic. I gave it a try, and sure enough, it was exactly the same as the Greek chicken soup we had loved. And we have been making it ever since, especially when someone catches a cold. Or, an alergy. Or, even a sneeze.
When I am preparing this for grown-ups, I use every ingredient in the recipe, but when I am making this for younger patients, I occasionally receive some complaints about the green things … and the orange things. So, in order to get some healthy broth into the tummies of your littlest patients, I recommend this: Prepare the soup using all of the vegetables in the recipe, (extracting all the great taste and the vitamins from the vegetables) and then just take them out before serving your little ones. Everyone is happy.
Click here to download a free downloadable recipe page. You can collect them and put them in your own recipe binder, or try this one we created for Tapestry by C.R. Gibson.
Not only will this soothing soup make your patients feel better, but it is a great gift for under-the-weather friends, or even just a “Yep, it’s still winter” present for someone you love. I filled my Feel Better Fast basket with two jars of magic chicken soup, and the ingredients for my other cold cure: hot tea with lemon and honey. Feel free to add a mindless movie or two. (My nostalgic memories of some oddly happy sick days wouldn’t be complete without a few episodes of Bewitched.) Finally, throw in a few oranges for Vitamin C and color, and, now, you can just pop on your red riding hood and run it over to granny’s.