Asian Inspired Chicken Noodle Soup
We have had a serious breakout of ‘man-flu’ at my house this week. I can’t really tease my husband too much, he isn’t normally a complainer about being sick. I don’t have a good track record, either. A few years ago, I came home to him vacuuming our apartment and complaining of pain. In my book, the last thing I would be doing when in pain is vacuuming, so I didn’t think it could be that bad. After telling him he just had indigestion, to take some Mylanta and stop complaining, or go to hospital, he said “I think you better take me to hospital”…..whoops! Turns out, he had appendicitis and had to have emergency surgery. Yeah, I felt pretty bad, and definitely didn’t win any wife of the year awards that year.
So when he had been sick with the flu for a couple of days without getting better, I knew it was time to bring out the big guns. Plus, I was starting to feel like I was getting it too and I don’t know if I could survive a bout of ‘man-flu’, it seems to be quite a debilitating condition 🙂
This chicken soup has a delicious blend of flavours, a fragrant mix of herbs and spices, with a nice kick of chilli. The recipe combines all the cold & flu fighting ingredients I could think of – ginger, garlic, lemon, lemongrass, shitake mushrooms, onions & chilli. As a plus, depending on how many you are cooking for, you should have plenty of amazing stock left over.
And while this soup is delicious in it’s own right, it is also good to have up your sleeve next time you need to suit-up and exterminate some germs.
Suitable for: gluten, wheat, dairy, egg, soy & nut free diets
Part 1 – Chicken Stock with Ginger, Garlic & Lemongrass (takes 4 hours)
Ingredients (makes about 3 litres)
You aren’t going to see any of these ingredients in the final product, so no need for things to look pretty. I use a meat mallet and smash up the garlic & lemongrass, you can use anything hard, like a rolling pin, etc.
- 1 small free range chicken, cut into quarters
- 2 large or 3 small/medium onions, peeled and cut into quarters
- 10 – 12 cloves garlic, crushed or smashed
- 5cm length of ginger, roughly sliced
- 2 lemongrass stalks, cut in half and smashed with meat mallet or rolling pin
- 2 carrots, roughly sliced, skin left on
- 3 celery stalks, leaves removed, roughly cut into chunks
- 10 peppercorns
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 5 litres water (I add 4 ltrs at the start, and then top it up with another litre about half way through cooking. If your pot is big enough, just add it all at the start.
- In a large stock pot, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil. Place the chicken pieces in, skin side down first. Brown on both sides until golden.
- Add the onion, carrots & celery and cook stirring for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger & lemongrass and stir for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the water, peppercorns, bay leaves and salt, stir. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a low simmer for an hour.
- After an hour, remove the chicken. I use a mixing bowl, so I don’t lose any of the liquid. Shred the chicken meat, and place in another bowl. Put the shredded chicken in the fridge until ready to use later. Tip all the bones, skin, liquid, etc in the mixing bowl, back into the stock pot. Simmer for another 3 hours. If the liquid is boiling down too much, just add some more in during cooking.
- Strain the liquid, into a large container or pot so collect all that delicious liquid. Throw out the solids.
- You need 6 cups of the stock for the soup. (You can freeze the rest for up to 3 months to use as a fantastic stock).
Part 2 – Chicken Noodle Soup
- 6 cups (1.5 ltr) chicken stock made in step 1
- shredded chicken from step 1
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 red onion, outside removed, and cut into quarters
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ginger, finely grated
- 12 shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 10 spears baby corn, sliced in 1 cm pieces
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 200g thick rice noodles
- 1 bunch Chinese broccoli, roughly chopped
- 4 green shallots, separate the white part from the green and thinly slice both.
- 1 – 2 small red birdseye chilli’s, thinly sliced. Remove seeds first for less heat.
- a handful of thai basil leaves, torn
- sea salt & pepper
- In a large saucepan, add the stock, chicken, lemon slices, onion, garlic, ginger, white shallot slices, mushrooms & corn. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer until the corn, onion & mushrooms have cooked through. Add the sugar, then season with pepper to taste.
- Add the rice noodles and cook until soft. Remove from heat and stir through the Chinese broccoli, until just wilted. Remove the lemon slices.
- Divide the soup amongst bowls, top with the chopped green shallots, thai basil and chilli (it is a hot chilli, be sparing) to serve.
Do you have a secret weapon against colds & flu’s? I’d love to hear them!