"Hello my name is Chou Chou. Can you say Chou Chou (Shoo Shoo)?"
This is how I always introduce myself on stage as the lead singer for my husband's orchestra, Doc Scantlin and His Imperial Palms Orchestra.
Well, my dear friends, I'm sorry so many of you have that nasty flu and don't feel well. Have I got some soup for you!
If you have ever heard me sing, you know I have a breathy little voice. Along with that, I have pretty fragile little bronchial tubes. I get bronchitis, which is bad for a singer. The good news is that I'm a much better cook than I am a singer. So I've tried everything to beat coughs, colds and the flu--and this soup works.
This soup uses ingredients that release and melt those nasty cold symptoms. They do to your congestion what detergent does to a greasy pan. This chicken soup gives you comfort and love. It gives you something yummy that feels good going down even if you're too stopped up to taste it.
For three days, eat this nutritionally sound soup. If you're a vegetarian, you can make it with vegetable stock or miso, but there's something about chicken soup . . .
Now get some rest.
Chou Chou's Miracle Soup
(12 to 15 servings)
About 30 tortellini or ravioli
About 15 cups (120 ounces) chicken stock or broth
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and discarded; caps sliced (do not substitute another variety of mushroom)
1/2 to 1 pound extra-firm tofu, diced
5 scallions (white and tender green parts), chopped
1 bunch watercress, tough stems removed, leaves chopped (may substitute 2 cups chopped kale or a combination of watercress and kale)
1 tablespoon sherry, or to taste (optional)
Cook the tortellini or ravioli according to package directions.
In a large stock pot over medium heat, bring the stock or broth to a simmer. Add the squash and onion and simmer, uncovered, until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and tofu and cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Add the scallions, watercress and/or kale and, if desired, the sherry to taste and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain and rinse the pasta. Set aside.
Place a few tortellini or ravioli in individual bowls and ladle the soup into each bowl. Serve immediately. (Cover and refrigerate the soup and pasta separately. Reheat small portions of each as necessary; repeated reheating will overcook the greens.)
Per serving (based on 12; without ravioli or tortellini): 92 calories, 7 gm protein, 11 gm carbohydrates, 3 gm fat, 6 mg cholesterol, 1 gm saturated fat, 186 mg sodium, 1 gm dietary fiber
CAPTION: Chou Chou Scantlin, above with her husband, band leader Doc Scantlin, fights colds and flu with her version of a chicken vegetable soup.