There aren’t may dishes more comforting than a chicken soup on a cold day! Loaded with veggies, noodles and chook, this soulful bowlful is quite the balanced meal too. Perfect coming into cooler weather!
HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP
To make the broth
1 raw free range chicken
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
1 medium brown onion, cut into quarters
2 stalks celery, halved
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
Small bunch parsley (including stalks)
1 teaspoon dried dill
2 teaspoons sea salt
Place the raw chicken, carrot, onion, celery and garlic into a large soup/stock pot. Cover with cold water. This will roughly be about 5-6 litres. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1.5 hours with a lid slightly ajar.
Remove from the heat and use tongs to remove the chicken. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes or until it's manageable to handle. Remove all the meat from the bones ( as much as is possible) and return the bones and skin to the pot. Place this back on the heat at a simmer and cook for a further 1.5 - 2 hours. The chicken meat can be shredded and placed in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use for soup.
Add the parsley stalks and dill to the broth and cook for the final 20 minutes. Remove from heat and Ideally leave the broth to sit for 20 minutes before straining (don't worry if you don't have time). Strain through a sieve, discarding the bones and vegetable pieces or saving to make a second stock.
Add the salt and stir well. This broth can be stored in fridge for 5 days in an airtight container or frozen for up to 6 months. Most of the time I'll use half for dinner that night and freeze the other half to use later.
TO MAKE CHICKEN SOUP (WITH OR WITHOUT NOODLES)
Now that you've got your delicious broth you can turn it into some soulful chicken soup!
250g rice noodles (of medium width)
1 large carrot, grated or cut with a julienne peeler
1 large bunch dark greens (I love using de-stemmed silverbeet), sliced into very fine ribbons
2 cups cooked shredded chickenExtra sea salt as needed
3/4 cup thawed frozen peas
1 small head broccoli, finely diced
3 cups finely shredded green cabbage (this makes a great substitute for noodles if you want to make it low-carb)
Additional herbs as desired; more dried dill & finely chopped fresh parsley
Cook the rice noodles for slightly less time than the package recommends (they'll continue to cook in the hot soup). Drain well and run until cold water to comletely cook. This stops them getting gluggy or over cooking.
Heat broth until boiling. Add the vegetables and cook for just 1 minute. Do not overcook as they'll continue to cook in the hot broth. The vegetables are also best when they still have a little bite and retain their bright colour. Add the noodles and cook for just 10 seconds before removing from the heat. Taste and season generously. A well salted chicken broth is the key to a delicious soup.
Serve immediately. Enjoy!