Migraine soup

This is a dish for special occasions.

If you were to overhear the start of a conversation about why, it has all the hallmarks of an appetising one.

‘Coffee, dark, aura, chilli,’… there’s every chance these will be muddled in the first sentences.

It’s only afterwards if you catch the references to vomiting, pain and staggering to the bathroom in the middle of the night to check that one side of your face hasn’t dropped from palsy that you’ll click.

This is a conversation  between members of a special club.

Migraines are beastly things. Those that get them, get it.

When I was little, we thought chocolate was a trigger. There were four years where Easter was pocked with carob bunnies, bought from the earnest health food store. Over time chocolate was reintroduced, but the blighters would still pop up uninvited. Bright lights, hormonal glitches and dope have also been known to set them up.

Though if I’m going to be honest, stress is my trigger. Not the situation itself; I can trundle through that. The day afterwards when the storm eases -that’s when it’s like guests have overstayed-  and are now trashing the insides of my head.

At the start one eye will get a little blobby. Twirling things, like scabs of not-so-fresh milk that float on the top of your tea dance infront of one eye. Soon the lights get turned out and there’s no sight to be seen. Fifteen minutes later, the party really starts.

In that window, I’ll try anything to get them to leave. Two asprin and some caffeine can help. If I do that, there’s a good chance I won’t vomit later on.

But really, getting to somewhere cool, quiet and dark is the priority.

I’ve read recently that capsaicin, the chemical in chilli can be effective in reducing the onset of pain.
In the past when I’ve had  one descending The Hungry One will ask if there’s anything he can do.

Most of the time I whimper ‘no’ and slink to a spare room.

Next time, I’ll ask him to make me this.

Chicken noodle soup may be good for the soul- but coffee and chilli (and the asprin on the side)- these things might be good for my head.  And really, when this party comes to town I’ll say yes to anything.

Migraine soup; aka noodles with chilli, coffee and coriander

The coffee may sound nuts, but it plays in the same key as coriander and chilli. It’s a common inclusion in lots of chilli con carne recipes. Besides the caffeine boost, it adds a murky note that makes this asian chicken broth just a touch more interesting. 

Serves 1

1 saucepan.

75 grams of egg noodles
1 cup of chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1/2 red chilli, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground espresso
1 small handful of coriander leaves

Here’s how we roll

1. Add the chilli to the stock and bring to the boil. Add the noodles and cook until soft.
2. Serve with the coriander leaves and espresso sprinkled over the top.
3. Retreat to a dark room.

  1. I'm intrigued by the coffee! I don't get migraines, but this looks like just the thing for a hangover too!

  2. I agree with foodycat – only ever had 2 migraines in my life but I'd whimper with gratitude if someone gave this to me when I was hungover. Sorry to hear you get migraines, they are the absolute worst. Oh, and I still shudder when I think of carob chocolate buttons – best left in the 80s.

  3. You have my migraine sympathies. Now I will not leave the house without triptans. They are just magical.

  4. Oh i like the retreat to dark room bit – i haven;t had lunch yet and this soooo appeals. The barking dog downstairs has been giving me a headache!

  5. Love the idea of the added espresso. Can't wait to try this. Hopefully I won't have to make this for headache relief, but I can see how this would make you feel better!

  6. Ouch. I'm so sorry you have migraines- they sound like hell.
    But the soup looks like good medicine. I am fascinated by coffee in soup:)

  7. I'm sorry you suffer from migraines. My husband gets them, and I always feel so helpless, but next time I'll just make him this soup!

  8. That looks so easy and really tasty! The espresso sound so interesting. I want to eat it even though I don't get migraines 😉

  9. This sounds like a great remedy. I get migraines all the time and soup is the one thing I can stand to eat. I usually crave spicy soups, but I thought they would make it worse. I'll try this next time! Thanks!

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