Tuesday, 29 December 2009

A multicultural cure for what ails you

Chicken soup is supposedly the Jewish penicillin - tattie soup is the Shetland equivalent. Traditionally tattie soup is made using reestit mutton, but as a student I had no access to such a delicacy* so started substituting with chicken, mixing the best of both worlds. Far from traditional it may be, but in my opinion it works very well. Generally speaking I hate soup. But I love proper tattie soup, and now I love my own chicken tattie soup.


1. Chop up an onion and gently soften in oil over a low heat. Meanwhile cut two or three largeish potatoes into cubes, and chop a carrot and maybe some neep (Swede) if you have any. You could add more of the other veg if you prefer, it's personal taste - I tend to limit the carrot as it can make the soup very sweet. Which some people love.

2. When the onion is soft add stock (I use chicken stock made from stock powder because it's easy) and bring to a boil. Then add the tatties, carrot and neep if using.

3. Chuck in some chicken. I either use leftovers from a roast chicken or if I've not done a roast recently I boil a chicken portion (leg, wing, whatever) in. If it's on the bone obviously you'll have to fish it out once it's cooked to remove the meat from the bone. But that's kinda fun.

4. Add half a teaspoon (or more) of mild curry powder. This just gives it a bit of oomph.

5. Simmer for ages. Then simmer some more. I like it to reduce down a bit so it's almost verging on being a stew.

6. Serve, preferably with crusty bread and a squeeze of lemon juice or lime juice. The idea of adding citrus juice (the multicultural bit) came from a Bulgarian friend of my parents who served lemon juice with fish soup. I've no idea if Bulgarians do this with any soups other than fish, but it goes really well with chicken tattie soup as it cuts through the comforting richness of the soup and gives it a bit of zing.

It need hardly be said that it tastes even better reheated the next day, as today's lunch was.

* Halls of residence would probably frown on heavily salted lumps of mutton hanging around the place.

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