Sicker than Sh*$ Soup

January 7, 2011

Dear 2011,

What is the deal, man? I have been a very diligent chipmunk; I have broken a sweat daily, eaten enough vegetables to start pissing a salad bar, and mainlined sparkling water with lime. And what do I ask for my efforts? A stronger body and a clearer head. That is all.

Well, obviously, 2011, you are male. Because your listening skills blow.

It’s bad enough that I’d scheduled today as “put away the Christmas crud day,” but that wasn’t adequate suckage for you, was it? So you sent me the needy cat and the scorching throat from the bowels of Hades. Nothing like asserting world domination early in the game, eh, 2011?

When you wake up at 2:44 in the morning with the scorching throat from the bowels of Hades,  you realize the day is already over. You also know that a trip to the grocery store to purchase ingredients for soup is not gonna happen. There’s too much hacking and complaining scheduled–no time for detours!

But when I’m sick, I need soup. Preferably super-spicy, Asian-style soup that will KO all of the accumulating gunk in the nosage.

This is where a shred of luck comes in, because we’re Asian food junkies over at Chez. T. Even with a threadbare refrigerator, our pantry is stocked with items that save my sorry backside.

Seriously, readers, your pantry is going to be wicked jealous of my pantry when you hear what I found in there: chicken broth, coconut milk, curry paste, ginger, water chestnuts, fish sauce and jarred kaffir lime leaves.

Maybe the Gods were in a benevolent mood, because when I dug through my pathetic refrigerator, I found 2 stray chicken breasts, a few shredded carrots, a stalk of lemongrass and a handful of cilantro.

I was feeling a little renegade, so I opened the freezer and Bonus! A half-package of Chinese soup dumplings.

Yo, freezer–I love you, man.

So bite me, 2011. Send me your worst. I can Semi-Homemade* you outta the neighborhood any day. But take note: you infect the girls with this crud, and your butt is mine. There’s a weekend in Miami coming in six day’s time, and Crudsuckage is not invited.

I really could have taken the time for a better photo, but I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.

Sicker than Sh*$ Soup

feeds a snotty victim for about 2-3 days

4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk (I used reduced-fat)

1 stalk lemongrass, sliced once down the middle

1 tablespoon shredded jarred kaffir lime leaves (or 6 fresh)–I got my jarred leaves at Whole Foods

1 teaspoon bottled fresh minced ginger

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon red curry paste

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

2 chicken breasts, poached and shredded

1 cup shredded carrot

1 jar water chestnuts, cut into matchsticks

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

sliced fresh jalapeno, if desired

Frozen small Chinese soup dumplings

In a large pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, sugar and curry paste; stir with a whisk, turn down heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.  Strain broth mixture in a colander to remove solids and return broth to pot.

Add coconut milk, carrot, and water chestnuts to broth and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes.

Bring broth to a boil; add soup dumplings and cook over medium-high for 2-5 minutes or until tender, depending on size of dumplings/package instructions.

Stir in cooked chicken and heat through. Serve in warmed bowls with cilantro and jalapeno on top, if desired.

Note: If you are going to eat this soup for several days,  cook only the number of dumplings you need for immediate consumption.  Leftover soup keeps well as long as there aren’t any dumplings left over, and it takes just minutes to make fresh dumplings on a needs-only basis. Trust me on this. Mushy dumplings suck.

Endnote: My sorry, sad, winter-white tailfeathers will, indeed, be in Miami next weekend. Why do people always say “winter-white” like it’s an attractive, sophisticated color? On butt-space, it’s a negative.  I’m a little afraid that some suntanned Floridian is going to mistake me for a baby seal and bludgeon me on the beach.

And no, my 30 days won’t be up by then. I’ll have two days to go. Truth: I don’t know what I’m going to do about that. Well, I know I’ll play in the sand and the surf and the swimming pool with two beautiful girls, if the weather is lucky. For now, maybe that’s all I’m going to plan on, because day by day is the only drummer I’m listening to.

Much love to you, gentle readers.  I’m grateful for your kind words, your support, and the dirty jokes you’ve sent my way–my cup runneth over.

*: This is not an endorsement for Sandra Lee. She belongs with Crudsuckage in the bowels of Hades.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandra January 11, 2011 at 7:38 am

Why oh why gods of neighborhood distribution and demographics, did you not place this woman across the street?


That soup slurp is being licked right now off the screen.

Dang, woman, marry me.


Rudri January 11, 2011 at 8:55 am

Your wit and humor come through even when you are sick! KW, I hope you are on the mend and enjoying your vaca in Miami!


Ink January 11, 2011 at 10:44 am

My pantry is totes jealous of your pantry. Feel better, sweetness.

Hope you have fun in MIAMI — woot!


rebecca @ altared spaces January 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I lost this in my email box that was supposed to be clean before the calendar turned to 2011. But it wasn’t. I went skiing instead.

So, the crud is hopefully gone by now.

And the cat??? And the tree???


Bonnie January 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Don’t hate me but, when I’m down with the “crud” the owner of my favorite Thai restaurant will drop off soup for me. I do hope you are feeling better!! And, when you are well enough, go out and befriend a Thai or Chinese restaurant owner.



Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points January 12, 2011 at 8:10 am

I read through this recipe carefully as soon as I saw lemon-grass.

I used lemon grass in a recipe and…

…did not think to strain said recipe.

In my defense, it did not SAY to.

Lemon grass is…umm…inedible.

Yes, I think I’ll use that word. Inedible.

And we’re lovin’ a good spicy asian soup here in the land of IPoMP.

I approve of this. And I have tiara so THAT seriously counts for something.


A Canadian Foodie January 12, 2011 at 10:01 am

OUCH! I hope you mend, soon!!! Terrible to be ill during the holidays – and good you actually had something around that was edible and nourishing. You detailed it perfectly. So much so, I was almost there with you.


Kristi Rimkus January 12, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I sure hope you’re feeling better by the time you read this. I’m sorry you felt so crummy, but I got a good laugh from your description of your day. The soup looks fantastic. I’ll need you to make me some the next time I get the crud. :)



faemom January 12, 2011 at 10:38 pm

And I used to think that my pantry rocked. It could never do that.
I hope you’re better.


Melissa January 12, 2011 at 11:27 pm

May your Miami days be sick-soup-less.


Camilla January 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Hiya, sorry you feel like shit lady, but your soup looks fabulous! You must be feeling better after a few of these… gotta love a pantry full of bits and bobs xx


Liz January 14, 2011 at 4:15 am

I’m sorry you were sick but all I can focus on is this: You’re in MIA??? I think, if I can add the date plus your 6 days correctly (I know..I teach Reading, not Math, but maybe I can do this one) you might be coming THIS weekend? Today?? Kitch Witch is in my city, folks. COOL. Now I’m gonna have to re-evaluate your blog pic and stalk the city.


Chiara January 18, 2011 at 4:24 am

Wow, your pantry sounds exactly like mine… Asian food galore! Love the soup… I definitely hope not to get sick, but I guess I can make it even if I’m healthy ;)


Gibby January 18, 2011 at 8:13 am

I hope you had a great time in sunny Florida! (Did you know it’s the only state that doesn’t have any snow? Lucky you…)


tax calculator January 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadn’t given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.


MKCountryman July 28, 2011 at 7:07 am

Gosh, you are funny. I found you last week? right? Was getting ready to make a basic chicken broth and thought I would look online quickly for a recipe. Really trying to see if there was a way to make chicken broth without a gross raw chicken. Kidding. (sort of).
Just looking through your recipes and read this.
You are funny. I am bookmarking this sight under the heading of f unny – I need this stuff sometimes. Thanks.


TKW July 28, 2011 at 8:31 am


Ooh! I love people who think I am funny! You can hang out here any time. ;)


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