Sunday, September 21, 2008

Arabesque: Chicken Soup for the Soul Sick?

Financial meltdown, that pitbull in lipstick, job anxiety.  .  .

Interesting times, these. And yes, I feel cursed.

I never read any of those Chicken Soup for the Soul books back when they were popular, and honestly, the Turkish chicken soup (official name: Barley Soup with Yogurt) I made last night did nothing for my soul. 

"This Anatolian peasant soup with the delicate flavor of mint and saffron is magnificent," Claudia Roden writes in one of her typically seductive Arabesque headnotes. 

Not quite magnificent, but tasty and very easy. You simmer the carcass of a roast chicken in water for an hour, strain off the stock, pick off any meat clinging to the bones, then add to a pot of sauteed onions with some barley and saffron. Cook gently for half an hour "until the barley is swollen and tender" (did she crib that from a Judith Krantz novel?) then add lots of chopped fresh mint and two cups of whole-milk yogurt.

I know the Greeks and the Turks hate each other, but I thought this hearty, tangy soup tasted a lot like Greek avgolemono. (If you ever need a recipe for avgolemono check out Diane Kochilas' outstanding Food and Wine of Greece -- or email me.)

Sadly, though, whether you call it avgolemono or yorgutlu corbasi or pho or Campbell's, chicken soup will never cure what's ailing the Tipsy Baker.

2 comments:

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