So, I have always wondered what constitutes comfort food? Is it cultural? Mood-dependant? Hormonal? Or is it something far more ubiquitous and common?
For me, my go-to comfort food has been soup, it warms me right up. Hot and Sour chicken soup, lemon and coriander soups and shorbas, creamy tangy chicken soup with prawn, sweet corn soup once in a while and maybe some pretty nice flavourful bread thrown in once in a while, just the thought of them makes me go “yummmmm”.
And I write this today because yesterday I found the most amazing warming hot and sour vegetable Chinese soup in brighton. Just when I had given up hope that I am never gonna find my favourite flavour here! Its the vegetarian hot and sour soup in Bamboo House on London Road!
And needless to say, I finished all my food mostly in silence while the 4 guys around me bantered and laughed. Actually, I had no idea what they were laughing at most of the time. My heart was captured wholly by the myriad flavours taking up the attention of the different tastebuds in my tongue and every beautiful bite of the myriads of soft to different degrees of chewiness (but not too chewy) vegetables. Hehe. I must sound like a madman, no? Well, mad woman. Oh well, who cares. Its a gender fluid world out there, even though people in their well imagine cocoons haven’t caught up yet.
Oh and one more thing, I have realised after 25 years of hunger induced mood swings, that whoever said, “Food is a way to a man’s heart”, clearly had not met a woman 😉 Since I have never found another gender more obsessed with food (embarrassed throat clearing here a little on the side here folks 😛 ) Here’s a tip for everyone out there.
Food is not gender biased, and nor is cooking. It did not come with a label from god when trees grew 😉 Cooking can a great art for whoever needs some meditation in life and my recommendation: a good simple soup can never disappoint. Not to mention, you would not starve if you were trapped in a beautiful house with all the ingredients in the world but no one to cook for you! (Guess whose fantasy that is 😉 ) But to help you on your way of starting out with soups, here is a very very simple one:
- Chicken Lemon Coriander Egg-drop Soup.
So here’s the procedure:
- Cut up small pieces of fresh chicken (preferably thighs)
- Fry them with a little butter and add some cardamom and black peppers and elahchi.
- Add water and let it boil.
- Add diced up coriander and salt and pepper powder to taste.
- Add any kinds of vegetables you want (I prefer spring onions and mushrooms)
- Whisk an egg in a bowl and slowly (very slowly) pour it into the soup first onto a spoon on the surface of the soup and rapidly stir each spoonful till you see them turn into white flakes.
- Let the soup boil for a while to let the taste of the chicken permeate
- Add some chicken stock (and some noodles and some tofu if you like while you are at it) if you like.
- Turn off the stove, add lemon juice as desired and enjoy!