Maybe it was fatigue from all the traveling catching up with me, but more likely it was just me being stupid and sleeping with my summer covers even though autumn already arrived while I was in sunny Southern California.
My second morning back in Nagoya, I had that undeniable tingle in my throat telling me I was sick. And the next day, I was past the runny nose phase and was rolling around in my bed with the all-too familiar aches and pain. I shared my ill state on Facebook as my generation is expected to and a friend who was just getting over a cold sympathized and sent me his mom's chicken soup recipe.
Around the start of the cold, I wanted chicken soup, but looking up recipes would take more brain power than I was capable of and Japan is not a country of chicken soup, so I couldn't just go to the grocery store and pick some up. Ed's mom's recipe was the solution.
I was well enough to go to work on Friday, but the combination of medicine-head, being in the cough phase of my cold, and an overwhelming desire to make soup, was more than reason enough to take advantage of a slow work day and head home after two lessons. I did, however, have the presence of mind to check the specialty grocery shop near work for cilantro before catching a train home. It's not a common herb in Japan and I know from experience that my local grocery store doesn't carry it. This shop, however, had it in stock so I got a pack and headed home to pick up the rest of the ingredients at said local grocery store.
The recipe didn't call for carrots, but I wanted that pop of color. I don't even like carrots. Nor celery, but I know how it adds to a soup and thankfully my grocery store sold them by the stalk, so I got one rather than the two in the recipe. I cut both of these rather small so they would all but disappear in the cooking process.
Everything else was pretty much done according to the recipe. I accidentally skewed the cooking times and used the largest pot in the house resulting in quite a lot of soup. But that's what happens when I cook when I'm sick. Thankfully it's pretty hard to mess-up soup.
The finished product was delicious and comforting just like chicken soup is supposed to be. I'm glad I didn't add the extra stuff that I'm always tempted to add like oregano and black pepper. Though next time I might add some red chili like Ed suggested.
For dinner on Friday, I also treated myself to a baguette from the nice bakery near my station. And that turned out to be a brilliant decision. Having proper bread with freshly made chicken soup was the proverbial icing on the cake.
After eating my fill, I packed the rest into two big containers and aside from one night at Soup Stock (they had the chicken pottage), I ate soup for the next three days. With time, the flavors settled and blended, making each day more delicious than the last. I was rather sad when I finished the last spoonful.
I will definitely be making this again and with winter around the corner, it's put me in the mood to finally start making soups. This winter is going to rock.