This medicine in a bowl is crammed full of herbs and plants which are known for their healing properties. Although I enjoy eating everything (sans bones) to get the most out of the ingredients, straining the soup is an option.
1 5" piece lemongrassbruised by smashing with the butt of a kitchen knife
3tablespoon fresh oregano leaveschopped ( or 1 tbsp of dried oregano)
1 3-4poundchickencut in serving pieces (8) or 1 whole, cut-up chicken (giblets discarded)
1star anise pod
In a very large stock pot or soup pot, heat the oil over med-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger, and allow to sweat for 3 minutes or until translucent.
Add the turmeric, celery, carrots, lemongrass, and the herbs and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken to the pot, followed by the water, salt and pepper and finally, the star anise. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to low.
Allow the soup to simmer on low for 1 hour.
Remove the soup from the stove and remove the chicken pieces from the soup. Shred the meat from the bones, discarding both the bones and the skin. Also discard the lemongrass, the star anise and the herbs' woody stems. See note. Adjust the seasoning, if needed, to your taste by adding more salt or pepper.
Ladle into bowls and serve while hot. The soup can be stored under refrigeration for up to one week or frozen for up to two months.
Straining isn't necessary, but may be desirable if you're not a fan of eating the pieces of plants.Alternatively, tying up the herbs in a clean piece of cheesecloth and adding it to the pot is a great way to infuse the herbs flavors without having the leaves floating around the soup. Just discard the sachet of herbs after cooking. To strain: First, allow the soup to cool slightly to prevent burns. When the soup has cooled, place a colander or fine mesh strainer over a larger container to catch the soup. I usually place both into a clean sink in case I make a mess (which I often do). Carefully pour the soup into the colander and allow to drain thoroughly. Discard the strained bits of food.