So, this is the day I had.

Libyan Chicken Soup
Libyan Chicken Soup

The morning was humid and windy. Otherwise known as hell for allergies. My train was cancelled so I had to stand on the platform for 20 minutes waiting for the next one. In the humidity and wind. By the time the train finally came we were crammed in like sardines, my hair was frizzy from the humidity and my nose and eyes were streaming from the wind and the pollen / dust / mad air of Melbourne. Plus I’d left my book at home and someone had turned my charger off overnight so when I turned my phone on for entertainment it lasted about ten seconds before shutting down.  No reading.  No candy crush.  Did I mention this was a Monday?

Libyan Chicken Soup3
Libyan Chicken Soup3

So I was jammed into the train, nose streaming.  And I had no tissues.  I always have tissues.  Except when I don’t.  I became one of those really annoying people who sniffle and snuffle on public transport.  I hate those people. I think the only reason someone didn’t yell at me to “Stop that goddamn sniffing” was because my eyes were also streaming like mad and people probably thought I was crying.

Which I did later in the day when I dropped my lunch box and my delicious salad fell all over the ground.  So, out to buy lunch and it was no longer hot and humid.  It was pouring with rain.  So I got  soaked to the skin because, of course, I had no coat and no umbrella.  I spent the afternoon shivering.  By the time I got home, I was cold and grumpy and yes, still sniffing and all I wanted to do was get my dinner on, do my yoga podcast and collapse in front of My Kitchen Rules.

Libyan Chicken Soup4
Libyan Chicken Soup4

 Harrrummmppphhhh…my soup calls for tomato paste. We always have tomato paste. Except when we don’t.  I felt like crying again but subbed in some hefty swearing and a can of tomatoes and a couple of sun-dried tomatoes.  And then I put my soup on and went upstairs to do my yoga pod. 

 It was now 7:02pm.  MKR starts at 7:30. Which is fine. I do the YogaMazing podcast routines which are all about 20 minutes. So perfect timing really.  Is it possible that one thing is going to work out for me today?  I switch on the computer.

7:02        Windows is updating your computer.

7:10        Windows is still updating your computer

7:20        Windows is unfuckingbelievably still updating your computer.

The update finally finished at 7:28. I swear, it was as if they had timed it for maximum annoyance.

By now my little bit of grumpiness had turned into a full scale funk and a full blown cold.  I stomped downstairs to turn on the telly and the twitter because that is now my default mechanism for watching My Kitchen Rules. Bravo MKR tweeters, you are the funniest and the best!!!

Not that I was thinking that then because I was in a pique with the world.

And then I got to the bottom step and thought “What is that gorgeous smell?”

And no, it was not the neighbour’s cooking something delish but MY chicken soup. My Libyan Chicken Soup with Thyme, or to be exact my Sharba Libiya bil Dajaj wa Alzatar.  Or as I like to call it, the chicken soup of awesomeness.   

This smelled wonderful. Exotic and fragrant with spices, it was instantly warming and uplifting.  And it tasted amazing.  Both soothing to my frayed nerves and bad temper and exciting and spicy to my tastebuds. 

Libyan Chicken Soup2
Libyan Chicken Soup2

Talk about chicken soup for the soul.  This was life affirming.  One bowl of this and my fit of pique was lifted. 

This was as easy as hell to cook.   And all of the ingredients should be readily available.   The recipe called for “orzo” which I also didn’t have so as well as the tomatoes I subbed in risoni.  I have since found out these are the same thing. Who knew? Personally, I am going to start calling it by it’s Libyan name of Bird Tongues which manages to be both incredibly poetic, a perfect description and also, a teeny bit creepy. Oh, and the thyme featured below?  Straight from my garden!!!

 Birds Tongues and herbs

I found this recipe via a group I joined called MENA, the Middle East and North African cooking club. Every month the host chooses a soup, a main and a dessert from a country in the region and members can cook any or all of them.   I have been loving cooking from Persiana, and was very keen to learn more about this region’s food and ingredients. And if this was anything to go by, bring it on.

The recipe except for the tweaks mentioned above is here:

Sharba Libiya bil Dajaj wa Alzatar (Libyan Chicken Soup With Thyme)

Gah…because I was sick I missed the cut off for MENA this month but never fear, hear are some of the other entries in for this month:

Have a fabulous week, and the next time you feel a little bit sniffly or at odds with the world, try this soup!!!

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