Chicken noodle soup: comfort food, easy and simple
When I’m feeling a bit lazy, and in need of some hot comforting soup, thoughts drift towards a hot steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup. I would buy a good-quality whole chicken, come it into a pot filled with some water and veg (I just use what I can find in my fridge), and wait an hour or two – and dinner’s served! We usually buy chickens as organic or free-range as possible – we are very much aware of the fact that we just love food, and meat, too much to ever become devout vegetarians, so at least we can do our part in ensuring the meat we eat has had as good and dignified a life as possible. The trade-off is of course that it is more expensive, and we end up eating less meat – which suits us fine!
Chicken noodle soup
- 1 whole chicken
- 2-3 large carrots, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 celery sticks, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- vegetables, diced
- olive oil
- 2-3 dried juniper berries, crushed
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp dried lovage
I am indicating the basic vegetable ingredients that I would use in a recipe like this – you can use whatever you like, but I do recommend using carrots, an onion, celery and garlic amongst the vegetables used. The aim is to make a sofrito-like base using these vegetables, to begin developing the soup’s umami flavour.
- Warm some olive oil in a soup pot, and add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic. Sauté until soft and almost caramelised.
- Add the chicken and water until just covered. Add the rest of the vegetables. Add the juniper berries, bay leaves and black peppercorns.
- Cover with a lid and simmer for 1-2 hours, depending on how big of a hurry you’re in.
- Take the chicken out of the pot, and let it cool before you start picking the meat off.
- Remove the spices and season the soup with salt and pepper. I usually put a chicken bouillon in too.
- Serve soup with the meat and cooked broken spaghetti, or another pasta.