Jewish penicillin not phlegm retardant say Chinese.

We always hear of the wonderful restorative powers of chicken soup. However, this is not universal.

A few months back I was surprised to learn that in Chinese culture, chicken is contraindicated for colds. Apparently it is associated with phlegm (I think, but my memory is hazy). And last night another Chinese friend reminded me that chicken soup is not recommended when sick.

On the other hand, when I am sick, a good garlic soup is all I want.

1 clove garlic
some stale bread (optional) or
some leftover mashed potatoes (optional)
a bit of salt
boiling water

Chop up the garlic. Sprinkle with a little salt and mash with the flat side of a knife (I use a butter knife to avoid any unnecessary accidents). The salt helps the garlic mash into a nice fine paste.

Spoon the paste into a cup or bowl.

If you have some old rye bread, dice some of it and put in the bowl or, if you have left over mashed potatoes, put them in the bowl instead.

Pour boiling water over it and enjoy.

Yeah, it is a beggar's soup, but I like it.

[Update 16-November-2007 @ 16:15 to change title from "One man's Jewish penicillin another man's poison" to the above]


ghee said…
this is a helpful idea,i must try this one day,it`s already cold and flu season here,right now my throat is aching...gee..

i love porridge with lots of ginger,too.try the special porridge in the phil,you`ll love it!
Richard said…
ghee: ginger oatmeal sounds good. Ginger is a nice for spicing stuff up. I was recommended ginger tea for colds by Chinese friends.
Barbara said…
I disagree with your Chinese friends. I think there is curative power in chicken soup. I often throw in ginger for seasoning.
aCey said…
hi, richard! that was a funny decription of the dragon fruit you posted here. haha.

i have a little chinese blood, but my mom lets me have this sort of soup with native chicken in it when i'm sick with a cold. it's a filipino recipe. i dunno about it's healing effects, though. it just tastes clean and good.

that ginger soup seems easy to do. maybe i'll try that today. i got a cold!
Tena said…
I wish you would come over here and cook for me. Or is it your wife who does all the cooking at your house? Then send her over.
Richard said…
barbara: clash of cultures. In their medicinal tradition, chicken is contraindicated in colds.

acey: hope you get better soon. Rest is the most effective medicine I find.

tena: I cook for myself in Ottawa during the week, when I am home in Montreal on the weekends, I do a fair bit of cooking. Sofia and I share cooking.
b said…
Often when sick, chicken noodle soup doesn't sound good to me. The garlic soup does sound good though. When you mention it being a "beggar's soup," that makes me think of a simple soup my mom used to make for us during Lent: milk, potatoes and corn warmed up with a bit of salt. And I crave that soup as an adult now!
Richard said…
breal: sounds good to me. You should post the recipe one day. Lent should be coming up in 3-4 months.
b said…
good idea. maybe i will post that recipe, as simple as it is. i don't observe lent anymore, given my obvious views on religion in general, but always think of this soup as something i enjoyed during lent as a child.
Richard said…
breal: share and let others enjoy it too.

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