Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chicken Soup (on a warm day!)

Galway is still having oddly fine weather, in between bouts of cold and rain. The sky is blue and it's 15 degrees out (that's celsius). Yet I have a cold, they have been going around and now it's my turn, apparently. Still, it's a great opportunity to take the afternoon off of work and treat myself to chicken soup! I haven't made chicken soup in years, I always go for vegetables these days, or a packet of soup because by the time you are sick you don't always have the energy to make something from scratch. So the next few pots of soup that I make will be chicken; I have no fall-back recipe so it's time to try a few different ones.
Today it is a combination of what I already had in the kitchen, but I think later I might try a chinese chicken and corn soup because the take-out version is so delicious, and maybe a roasted chicken soup. As I was throwing stuff in the pot I thought garlic would have been a great addition, apparently it's good for the immune system. Only I don't have any. What I do have is carrots, onions, brocolli and lasagna sheets. I remember being small and having chicken soup with these big, wide, flat noodles which I have never seen since. When I was in Vienna I discovered that maybe this is some sort of Austrian or German type of pasta, but still have not seen it anywhere. So I figure that I might as well break up lasagna sheets and it would be sort of similar, though they are much thicker. So, here is what I have concocted:

Chicken Soup

500 grams (or more) of chicken on the bone (chicken pieces or a part of a whole chicken)
1 onion
3 large carrots
1 cup frozen peas (I didn't actually have peas, I chopped up some brocolli instead, but peas would be better. Corn would be nice too. Or just stick with carrots)
2-3 cubes chicken stock
1.5 litres water
4 dry lasagna sheets, broken into pieces (or a cup of small pasta)
Salt and pepper to season

Dice the onion, carrots and brocolli (if that is what you are using). Take a large saucepan and throw in the chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle the chicken stock over the top (it's not neccesary but I like my soup to have loads of flavour). Pour the water over and turn the the element on high.

When the water is boiling turn the heat down and simmer the soup until the chicken is cooked. Take the chicken out and let it cool while the soup continues to simmer. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and shred the meat. Return the meat to the soup, and if you intend to leave it simmering much longer throw the bones back in as well because they will add more flavour. Add the pasta and continue simmering for about 10 minutes, till the pasta is soft.

If you want a smooth soup you could process it, or just half blend it, but I reckon chicken soup should be clear and full of bits, so I am not blending mine at all! Season it and serve it immediately or keep on simmering it for as long as you like.

And now it is really raining a lot so soup is definitely merited.

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