Thursday, November 13, 2014

1€ Chicken Noodle Soup

The last thing on my list of to-do's in Paris was to get a cold. It's something you don't factor in between chateau visits and munching on macarons. A cold is like the annoying photobomber at a wedding who always thinks they have the best timing. You are not funny, and nobody likes you.

In the United States, I had a fool-proof sick recovery plan going. Armed with Campbell's chicken noodle soup, Sprite, and Saltines, I could whip anything. Give me some Netflix, and I am gold! (My mom swears by Carabba's Spicy Sicilian chicken soup... I've never stayed sick after eating it...)

But surprise! There are no Campbell's soup cans in Paris. Or really soup cans at all. So this morning when I trudge wearingly over to the Monoprix to get my natural remedies, I'm in for a surprise.

The chicken noodle soup:
There are no cans of soup, just stir-in powders. Nothing quite so stomach-rumbling as a bowl of instant lentil soup!
I found Knorr's "poule aux vermicelles"... That's literally "hen with noodles" in French. The packets were 0.58€ each... I had my doubts. I bought two.

The tea:
Since I hate taking medicine, I usually turn to tea to help me get through a cold. But here I saw no brands with which I was familiar, and all the descriptions were French. So I went with the mouth-watering "drainage and elimination" option and checked out.

In the kitchen:
When I got home, I set a medium-sized sauce pan on the stove and filled it 2/3 with water. I translated the prep instructions from the soup packet on Google translate. "Mix, stir, simmer." Maybe they anticipate people buying packets of soup not being at the height of their culinary careers.

After setting the soup mix to a slow simmer, I realized my soup was looking fairly pathetic. I fetched two carrots and a leek, chopped away, and threw them into the mix as well. After a few more minutes of boredom, I ground in handful of black pepper (the more spice, the more drainage! Isn't this a fun food post?!)

I didn't set a timer or measure anything, and I changed the heat settings three times. But eventually when the carrots softened, I laded out a steaming portion and poured my tea. Let's be honest, recipes are for wusses. (Let's be honest, I'm just lazy when my signuses are playing a drum wipeout in my head.)

The result:
Absolutely delicious. I think it was the leeks. I thought I hated leeks. I avoid them at all costs (difficult in France). But the stuffiness in my head momentarily stopped my brain from working, and then something delicious was born. Figures. (Also, writing a blog post whilst battling the ability to think straight also seemed like a good idea at the time.)

The soup was under 1€ to make, and took my cold to town. It tasted as good as any soup I've ever tried, and I have another big bowl full for later. Yay economizing!

Bonus: the tea was delicious as well, sans sucre, and it chased away the pressure from congestion. I think it was €2.50 for a box of tea bags.

In short, I'm a lazy cook who's broke and feels proud that she could take care of herself in a foreign country on the cheap. Oh the life of an au pair....

No comments:

Post a Comment