Title: Broth With Herbs
Elements: Sweet or Savory -- Prompt: savory, sharp
Author's Notes: This tale is a sequel to Mint Green for Healing, where Boromir is in need of a healing cup of tea.
Summary: Dûrlin serves up some tasty broth for an ailing Boromir.
Word Count: 942
Broth With Herbs
The kitchen was bustling with activity, so Dûrlin stood well back against the wall so as to be out of the way of the cooks who were busy roasting meat, baking bread, and preparing vegetables for the Steward's household. The tray he had recently brought down from Boromir's room sat upon a a long table near the hearth where a large pot of soup stock was simmering. He watched as one of the cooks ladled a generous portion of steaming broth into a bowl and set it on the tray.
"Your broth smells savory and wholesome," he said as he approached the cook.
"I do hope my lord Boromir will enjoy it!" she replied fervently. "Such a shame it is that he has been so ill these past few days! But this will set him right, now that his appetite is returning. Just let me add the fresh herbs you provided and the broth will be ready."
The cook grasped several sprigs of coriander leaves keeping fresh in a bowl of water and shook the leaves dry. Laying the coriander on a board, she sliced away the leaves with a knife. A sharp green smell filled the air as the cook chopped the leaves finely and then stirred them into the bowl of hot broth. She placed a lid on the soup bowl to keep the broth warm, and set a small loaf of fresh bread on the side.
"There you are, sir," she said with great satisfaction. "Hot chicken broth with green herbs for good digestion after an illness. It does smell nice, does it not? I do love the smell of fresh coriander just after it goes into a hot stew!"
"I, too, appreciate the aroma as well as the flavor," Dûrlin said, "though not everyone is as fond of it as we are! But this is just what Boromir needs now -- restorative broth with herbs for improving his appetite, and a soft loaf to dip in the broth."
"Tell him there is more ready when he wants it! The best bits of chicken from the stock making have been set aside just for him, for when his appetite is sharper. Go quickly now and take it to him while it is hot." As the cook turned back to her work, she waved a hand in the direction of the door. "There is also a fresh pot of tea there by the door and a clean cup set ready."
Dûrlin bowed his thanks, and gathering up the tray and the tea, he set off for Boromir's room. He found Boromir where he had left him, sitting in a chair by the window, knees covered warmly. Boromir's face was somewhat drawn and he looked tired, but color had returned to his cheeks and the dull look in his eye was gone.
"You are still sitting up," Dûrlin commented as he set down the tray on a table beside the bed. "Have you not yet had your fill of fresh air, or is it rather that you are waiting for me to help you back to your bed?"
Boromir laughed. "I will never get my fill of fresh air, but I do confess I am tired, and it is doubtful I can make it back to bed unaided. I did attempt it at one point, but I decided it better to remain in my chair than to have you find me fallen upon the floor!"
"Fear not, Boromir!" Dûrlin said soothingly as he helped Boromir into bed and drew the blankets up around him. "It will not be long until your legs will hold you without aid, and you will be out in the fresh air instead of enjoying it from your window. This broth I have brought will help you towards that end."
"The smell of it is wonderful!" Boromir exclaimed, as Dûrlin set the tray before him and removed the lid from the bowl, but his look turned to one of suspicion as Dûrlin tore the loaf and handed him a piece.
"I will not try to feed you, Boromir," Dûrlin promised, smiling at the sharp look Boromir had given him. Boromir grinned in relief. "That is thankfully no longer necessary," Dûrlin continued, "for you are well on your way to regaining your strength. I will, however, sit here at your side while you eat your fill, and continue to share news of life outside this room. As it happens, I heard an interesting tale while I was down in the kitchen...."
4 pounds chicken
7 cups water
1 large onion, halved
3 stalks celery
3 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 large turnip, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 T. vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
herbs to taste (if following Dûrlin's recipe, add fresh chopped coriander/cilantro leaves just before serving)
1. Place the chicken in a large pot over high heat. Add water to cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 1 hour.
2. Remove chicken from pot. Leave water in pot. Cool chicken. Remove skin and bones from meat. Return bones and skin to pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, bay leaf, ginger, and salt. Continue simmering for 3 to 4 hours.
3. Strain and cool the stock, uncovered.
4. Use the meat for soups, salads, sandwiches, or other dishes where cooked chicken is needed. After stock has been defatted, use or freeze immediately. The stock can be frozen in one-cup amounts and used instead of water for cooking rice or vegetables or making gravy.