or today whenever you may
bless the grass, bless the earth
with my window glass you flirt
Oooh, comfort food. Nothing beats the comfort of slurping a big spoonful of warm homemade cream soup in a cold windy days. Rain had began to visit Jakarta every now and then, peacefully taking its turn with the pinching hot sun. Although wet season is not really here yet, clouds are now hanging on the sky and cold wind is breezing through my window. Maybe it’s gonna rain tonight. Hopefully.
Flipping through my old recipe book, where I kept recipes I collected when I was 8, there were plenty of choices I could use. Traditional hot drinks like Bajigur, Angsle, Wedang Ronde, Sekoteng, would be very nice choices. But I just can’t resist the image of me gulping those creamy homemade soup and feel its smoothness caressing my tongue and its warmth swirling in my tummy afterward, leaving soft tasty broth in my lips.
I clipped the recipe long ago from Gadis Magazine belonged to my big sister, October 1980 edition. It adapted the dutch name: Koninginne Soep, which is basically cream soup with mushrooms and chicken chunks. I used big straw mushrooms and followed the recipe word by word, including making the broth from scratch and boil it for two hours. And oh it was so good! At first I though the mushrooms were too many and my soup began to smell like damp straw. But then the magic happened when the milk was poured. The whole soup became so soft in everything. Soft taste, soft smell, soft texture.
No more store-bought soup for me.
Sup Ratu (Koninginne Soep)
Make the broth:
- In a stock pot, throw in:
1/2 chicken (use male chicken or the one with muscly meat, rather than regular chicken that is usually very tender)
1/2 carrot (do not cut up)
3 shallots, peeled and cut into halves
1 tsp whole kernel pepper
1 cm nutmeg
1 piece mace
1 stick celery
- Pour enough water to cover all the ingredients and enough to ensure you don’t have to add more water during cooking.
- Boil the mixture, then turn down the heat. Let it boil at low heat for two hours. Strain the broth.
The Soup (not the tv programme):
50 gr flour
50 gr butter
50 gr onion, chopped
1000 ml broth you just made (add water if necessary), reheated
100 ml evaporated milk (I used fresh milk, and yes it’s full cream, baby)
Cooked chicken meat from 1/2 chicken you used to make broth, cubed
350 gr straw mushrooms, clean, cut in halves or quarters
1 egg, whisk lightly with fork
Ground nutmeg, ground pepper and salt to taste
1 stick celery, chopped for garnish
- Melt butter in the bottom of stock pot, sautee the onion until tender. Add flour, stir, it will create lumps. Pour the broth little by little while continue stirring to make a smooth sauce. If you pour the broth all at once it will make lumps. So, be patient, pour it very slowly while you work your wooden spoon, creating smooth creamy soup.
- Add ground pepper, ground nutmeg and salt to taste.
- Add milk, cubed chicken and mushrooms.
- Add a little soup into the egg, stir well, then pour the mixture back into the soup. Stir well. Turn off the stove.
Do not be tempted to add more and more salt if you find the taste is too soft. No matter how much salt you add, the taste will still be soft.
- Sprinkle with chopped celery.
wash away the dust on my trash bin
come again tomorrow or whenever you may
bless the leaves, covered my pathway
whisper to my ears
lovely season on its way
“Fall in My front Yard” by Riana Ambarsari
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