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A slightly thickened soup with shredded chicken and spicy flavor. Photo by Fran Hill.
A slightly thickened soup with shredded chicken and spicy flavor. Photo by Fran Hill.

Smells Like Feet But Good to Eat

May 30, 2012

Today, I am thinking about feet. Summer brings sandal season, and let’s face it, most of our feet have been neglected all winter. They. Are. Gross. We need a collective pedicure. (And guys, I am talking to you, too.) You don’t have to get all frou-frou with polish, but a good scrubbing with a pumice stone and trimming the nails is never a bad thing. Truly. Feet aren’t pretty, but they do carry us around and deserve a little respect. It doesn’t matter if you frugally tend to your tootsies at home or splurge on a professional salon service. Give everyone around you a break and offer your feet some love. Don’t air your dirty toes to the world. Don’t make the world smell like feet.

“Smells like feet.” That is what someone told me this spring when I made Curried Chicken and Rice Soup. They walked into my kitchen, sniffed the air, asked me if I was cooking, and then proclaimed that it smelled like feet. Ouch.

I don’t believe my pot of soup smelled like feet, but I guess everyone doesn’t hotfoot it for curry. This mix of savory and sweet spices pairs so well with chicken and rice, but it can be an acquired taste/flavor/smell/aroma. The amount of heat varies depending on the type of curry powder you use…start small, if you aren’t accustomed to it. A little dill and lemon brighten this soup (like a pedicure will for your tired feet), and I think it is warming and delicious. If you have to make the world smell like feet, Curried Chicken and Rice Soup is the way to do it.


Curried Chicken and Rice Soup

Adapted from Food Network Magazine

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 medium carrots, sliced diagonally
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
3/4 cup jasmine rice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Combine chicken, carrots, bay leaf and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan or stock pot. Add 3 cups chicken stock and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the chicken is just firm, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in another saucepan. Add the onion, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and the remaining 3 cups of stock. Increase heat, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. 

Remove the chicken from its broth and shred the meat into pieces. Return the shredded chicken to the same broth. Using an immersion blender, puree a portion of the rice mixture. This will slightly thicken the soup. Combine with the shredded chicken and broth; bring to a simmer. Toss in the chopped dill and serve soup with lemon wedges to squeeze into bowls. Serves 4.

Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and two dogs reside near Colome.


06:31 am - Thu, May 31 2012
Rebecca said:
I love curry powder. I've never thought it smells like feet. But cumin does smell a bit like body odor to me.
07:58 am - Thu, May 31 2012
Laura said:
I love curry also, so this recipe is right up my alley. Thanks for sharing it, Fran!
02:12 pm - Thu, May 31 2012
Elayne said:
I like cumin in my chili, but I accidentally bought a (HUGE!) jar of curry one time, thinking I read cumin. I don't have any recipes for curry, so if you have any ideas, I'd appreciate it. (I actually think cumin smells a little like feet, too, but it's not bad enough for me not to use it.) thanks!
02:18 pm - Thu, May 31 2012
Laura said:
Elayne - during the colder months, I make a lot of curried squash soup. Roast a squash & an onion until cooked. Put in a put with chicken broth, and then puree with an immersion blender. Then I add curry powder, salt, pepper, etc. You can add cream, milk or yogurt in there to tame it a bit if you like - I usually don't bother. Pretty easy.
03:13 pm - Thu, May 31 2012
*Just Fran* said:
Elayne - I have a few curry recipes posted on my blog. Garlic Curry Chicken and Spinach is a really simple weeknight dish for us. And, I have a couple Curried Peanut Soups posted, as well. is super simple with tomatoes, and the other includes chicken.

I agree that cumin can be an acquired aroma. I love its smokiness and include it in almost all Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes, even if the recipe doesn't call for it.
04:20 pm - Thu, May 31 2012
Hmmmmm "smells like feet" ?????....uffda....I'll stick to lutefisk....Lutefisk...with the "aroma" of the beautiful and cold North Sea off the Northwest Coast of Norge....
Ja bet....cod...butter...salt and pepper....As God intended...
Uffda...."the smell of feet" ????....uffda, feeda, ishda....that's almost as bad as
"Pink slime".....No wonder more and more people are "turning" to Lutefisk.
11:48 am - Fri, June 8 2012
kisanth said:
This smell like feet

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