I called my mother this morning, and as only a mother could, she intuited from my first word that I was not feeling well. The conversation went thus (you’ll have to read my words with a bad head cold accent and hers with a Chinese-american accent).

Me: Hi momb, how arrr you?
Her: Ay-yah! Thees sound-a bad! I hope-a you are drinka a lot of the hot water!
Me: Actually, I was tinking of making somb of that chicken ginger soub. Wit vegetables?
Her: But that have not of the vegetables?
Me: Oh. Well, I’ll make it up.

And that is the beauty of soup. There is no wrong or right, there is only delicious and soup which makes you feel better when you’ve been a snotty, feverish mess for two days. As soon as I hung up the phone, I went downstairs and began a vegetable-ginger soup with homemade chicken stock.

First, I melted the fat off the top of the stock into my soup pot. I sliced thin slivers of ginger into the fat (about 2 inches of ginger) and sliced about half an onion into the pot as well. Heat it all until fragrant… my dogs started sneezing and left the room, which is a good sign. Me, my nose is so stuffed I couldn’t tell. Add 2 chopped celery ribs and 1 chopped carrot and saute. Add a quart of chicken stock and simmer until vegetables are cooked through.


I like to add egg noodles for tradition’s sake, but as a kid my mom served chicken ginger soup over rice. Either way, it’ll clear those nasal passages. Serve hot and keep a box of tissues handy!