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.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Contemporary Troubadour January 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Eaten enough vegetables to start pissing a salad bar — HA! Even under the weather, Kitch, you slay me.

I * am * envious of that pantry and freezer. For someone with a nasty bug, you do whip up some impressive gourmet remedies. I think I’d only have gotten as far as opening a can of Progresso and upending some Tabasco in there.


M @ Betty Crapper January 7, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Most of us native Miamians stay away from the beach in January. It’s too cold for us! You should be safe from bludgeoning.


Stacia January 7, 2011 at 7:49 pm

This is one of many reasons I love you, Kitch. When I scour my pantry for ingredients for a last-minute meal, I come up with instant rice with black beans dumped on top. There might be cheese. But fish paste? Lime leaves? Lemongrass? And a sore throat? Wow.

Happy Miami!


Stephane January 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Read your pantry stockage as it might soud sung to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Seriously, doesn’t, “and a handful of ci-i-lan-tro” beat “and a partridge in a pear tree?”


bryan January 7, 2011 at 8:26 pm

When I scour the pantry I get something from an episode of “Chopped in Hell” or something. Your Soup rocks my world though… sounds great! Have fun in Miami, you deserve a break


elizabeth January 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm

OK, let’s make something clear: for you, SL is a Food Network personality. For me and the husband and the rest of NY State, she’s our Semi–First Lady.

WTF. (I should also note that “Gold Digger” by Kanye West just came on my iTunes.)

Anyway, back to food and sickness. I’m convinced a bug is going around f-ing everywhere right now, because I was sick as a dog on NYE, M was felled by a similar bug a few days later (hence my recent post on black bean soup), and over the last few days my nose has had the urge to empty itself of any possible contents. It’s messed up, to say the least. And soup is the only artillery that we have in battle against it, so the more soups out there, the better.

I was looking for a recipe like this a few days ago; I now will bookmark it for the next time I need to make something for a sick husband to eat when he’s wrapped up his head Tony-Stark-style from the first Iron Man movie.


Phoo-d January 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Oh that blows! I hope you feel better soon. And seriously? Your pantry rocks. Where on earth did you find jarred kaffir lime leaves? I had a source of fresh leaves for a while but they disappeared and now I’m bereft without my kaffir lime leaves!


Phoo-d January 7, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Ooops, need to read a bit closer! Just saw that you got them at Whole Foods. I’ll look next time I’m there!


Paula (Salad in a Jar) January 7, 2011 at 10:01 pm

You actually had those lime-keffir whatever leaves in your pantry??? Get better soon!


Yuliya January 7, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Sad chipmunk, feel better soon.
I too love spicy Asian soup, also an excellent cure for a hangover! Something you don’t have to worry about, silver lining?


grace January 8, 2011 at 4:39 am

crudsuckage, gunk in the nosage, seal bludgeoning, stellar soup. this is a full post indeed. :)


Dawn January 8, 2011 at 6:48 am

Feel better, that soup should clear everything up pronto! And have a great time in Miami, winter white butt and all…


jessica January 8, 2011 at 7:19 am

I predict that Miami will cure it all….Seltzer is delicious pool side with an umbrella:)


C @ Kid Things January 8, 2011 at 8:28 am

Hope you feel better before you head out to Miami, because being sick while on vacation, that would really suck.

Also, I despise Sandra Lee. Seriously. Her and her damn “tablescapes”.


Maria January 8, 2011 at 8:39 am

OK….Your pantry rocks…Seriously, lime leaves in a jar…You are an inspiration! AND you MADE the soup, too? My butt would have hubby picking up wonton at the corner Chinese dive.

Miami will do you a world of good…Hopefully the weather will hold up and NOT make us Floridians look bad…

Hope you are feeling better soon, Kitchy…


Heather January 8, 2011 at 8:48 am

Can I move into your pantry ?? No, seriously!!! Sorry you’re sick – I’m hoping we left all that crap back in 2010! Enjoy Miami – it’ll be a good experience without alcohol… maybe?? Glad to have you back on a semi regular basis:)


gigi January 8, 2011 at 9:13 am

Sorry to hear you’re sick, Witchy. But that’s a pretty awesome soup you made with ingredients “lying around.” lemongrass, really?

Yeah, my pantry’s jealous.


Emily Z January 8, 2011 at 11:38 am

When I am sick I always want Hot and Sour soup. Although I always just send the husband to the nearby Pei Wei to get it. This soup also sounds perfect for being sick!


jc January 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I love dumplings. I’d eat any kind of soup with dumplings. Ok, not shit soup, but other flavors of soup thankyouverymuch.

Have a fun trip. If you are taking the girls, there’s a kids museum that you can spend a few hours in – it’s out on an island. It’s also got a monkey jungle but it’s expensive.


Leslie January 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Mmmmmmmmm, tom kha gai. It’s been a sick week around here, but alas – my pantry did not produce that perfect marriage. Worse, on every trip to the grocery since the week before Christmas, there’s no fish sauce to be found. BOO. I made an almost-tortilla soup with cornmeal dumplings instead – but it just wasn’t the same.
Feel better.


BigLittleWolf January 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I think it’s a helluva photo. Feel better soon!


Katybeth January 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm

My pantry has two cans of Campbell Chicken noodle soup and some spices I bought to make one of your recipes….I could not pull a peanut butter and jelly out of my pantry/fridge most days. However, I do have some awesome delivery menus and I whole heartily agree that spicy soup will cleanse and cure most of what ails you.
Miami! Lovely. Hope you have some time for some rewarding shopping–sound like you deserve a little retail therapy!


Mrs.Mayhem January 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm

My pantry is a barren wasteland compared to yours.

Hope you feel better soon. Have fun in Miami!


Lanita January 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm

OK, you are my sick soup, need chicken broth and a pasta when I’m sick, pantry that provides when feeling like poo, and kitchen goddess, hero. Seriously.

I hope you kicked the crudsuckage’s ass and are enjoying sun, sand and humidity. Aways makes me feel better.

Happy New Year!


Amy @ Never-True Tales January 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Your ability to pull stuff out of your fridge and freezer and simply make something always astounds me. I have to plan every single meal with my nose in my cookbook. Feel better soon!


leslie January 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Well, hell…the fact that you actually made the soup when you were sicker than shit amazes me!


Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon January 8, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Hope that soup was the cure for what ails ‘ya Kitch. And I’m insanely jealous of the fact that you’ll be in warm sunny Florida and I’m stuck in cold Baltimore. Do you need a personal assistant on this trip? Because I can be rented by the week.


Christine @ Fresh January 8, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I hope you get better soon! The ingredients in this recipe are really good for helping you get better – lemongrass, ginger, garlic and jalapenos.

I hope you have a great time in Florida!


Privilege of Parenting January 9, 2011 at 12:26 am

My cupboard does indeed need some pointers from yours. Meanwhile, sending healing wishes for a year that shapes up and learns how to listen.


ck January 9, 2011 at 3:48 am

My pantry doesn’t even know what to say. It’s still nagging me to google “jarred kaffir lime leaves” so it can decide whether or not it feels bad for never having housed it on a shelf.

Have fun in Miami, TKW. It I weren’t spending the weekend in freezing-*ss Northern Virginia, I might be jealous.


SuziCate January 9, 2011 at 7:07 am

Sicker than sh@$ soup – you crack me up. And eaten enough vegetables to start pissing a salad bar, absolutely hilarious! You are toomuch. I hope you have a fabulous time in Miami!


Shawna Cevraini January 9, 2011 at 8:21 am

It totally Sucks that you’re sick, but way to go on the soup! Cool pantry! Mine wouldn’t have ANY of those things, but that sure sounds yummy! Get well soon!


Sheri January 9, 2011 at 8:39 am

I assure you our buttspace is winter white as well. You won’t stand out, promise.


Erica@PLRH January 9, 2011 at 4:29 pm

My pantry is in awe of your pantry.

Feel better soon and don’t bring your crud to Florida, please and thank you!


Velva January 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Where the heck was this soup while I was coughing, congested and completely lost my voice…I needed to yell at my kids. I needed this soup! There is no way, I could have rummaged through my pantry and retrieved the delightful items you discovered hidden away in your pantry. You are right, I am jealous.

You are going to love Miami. Miami is my hometown. It is an amazing place. Did I mention the food is fabulous?



Kelly January 9, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Is this the soup you would’ve made me? Because it looks delicious! I hope you’re feeling strong and healthy by now (or soon, at least).


Tiffany January 10, 2011 at 6:59 am

Very jealous of your pantry and freezer. You would not find anything so good in mine. Have fun in Miami….you deserve it.


Sherri January 10, 2011 at 7:45 am

OK – I did pretty good raiding the pantry for these ingredients…. had everything but the lime leaves, lemongrass and dumplings. Off to Whole Foods I go because this looks so good, AND…… yeah – unfortunately, I feel the snottiness of a sinus or cold or something horrible coming on (so perfect timing on this). Go get your tan on in Miami, TKW! Have fun…


Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday January 10, 2011 at 7:53 am

Hope you feel better!!

LOL. I totally agree with that Sandra Lee comment.


Barbara January 10, 2011 at 8:59 am

When I feel like hell, I usually go for mild. Chicken broth with noodles or dumplings. Wonder if the hot and spicy would make me better faster??

In Miami, be sure to go to Michael’s Genuine for dinner….really delish!


Jane January 10, 2011 at 9:06 am

“So bite me, 2011. Send me your worst. ”

Don’t say it, Kitch! Trust me on this one. 2011 just might take the challenge.

(You crack me up! But seriously, you need to come to my house and stock my pantry. Sounds like I could learn a thing or two or three or four from you!)


Jenna January 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

Enjoy Florida! And please don’t get bludgeoned while you’re over there. Out of consideration to us readers. =)


The Curious Cat January 10, 2011 at 9:48 am

I really, really wish we had cans of chicken broth in the UK…but no…nada. Would be so helpful!! This soup sounds divine – definitely one for killing the bugs! So sorry to hear you are suffering by the way….oh and what did the cat do?


6512 and growing January 10, 2011 at 10:04 am

Holy asian kitchen! I love your soup because I’ve had it in some fabulous thai restaurants. Glad you can care for yourself so well with the hades throat.
Feel better soon.


Jennifer January 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I was sick this past week and called out for pizza. I’m not into any kind of cookage when I’m under the weather. Although… I just remembered. I did roast a chicken. But it was totally easy. All I really had to do was stuff it with a lemon, some thyme and some garlic and it basically cooked itself.


Michelle January 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm

You’re too funny. Hope you’re feeling better asap!


Christine January 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Two of us had that crappola over the holiday. Sadly I didn’t have the energy to cook a thing…and you know Mother Hubbard’s cupboard and all.

Feel better soon lady.


Mary Lee January 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I was feeling pretty good about my pantry until I got to the jarred kaffir lime leaves. Good grief.

If it is any comfort, I’m pretty sure that we will be the last people in America to put away the Christmas stuff. Dear husband says he pulled his back out coughing and can’t carry the boxes up to the attic. Who am I gonna call, then? Ghostbusters?

Get well soon.


Cathy January 10, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Have a great time in Miami and get well soon!


Linda at Bar Mitzvahzilla January 10, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Jewish version: just keep some matzo meal around and your dumplings can be matzah balls! Quick also to mix up in a flash!

Sorry you’re sick. We are sick here too, at the one week post-vacation mark, and not really getting any better.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: