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Soup Therapy

Whilst waiting in the Doctor’s Surgery with my very ill son, for about the 5th time in two weeks, I started to think about making soup.  My son is currently battling a chest infection and a high temperature, on the back of bilateral middle ear infections.  I find a great comfort in cooking, there is logic to it, when sometimes life seems to escape logic or reason, it’s my way of meditating and thinking positively, you have to hope for the best when you are cooking, otherwise you end up with an unloved goo that no one wants to eat!

Without the escape of cooking, the other alternative, with no sleep and stress,  is to worry about a possible hospital admission and thinking the worst, so keeping my mind busy with recipe hunting is a good thing – perhaps a type of chicken soup for the soul.

So quite aptly I used my smart phone to look up a recipe for chicken noodle soup.  I was pleased to see that I had most of the ingredients except chicken stock, which I decided in my sleep deprived addled brain that I would make myself as soon as we left the Doctors surgery for home.  Because surely a fresh stock would be better for my son than a manufactured one and perhaps this would also help boost his immune system.

We did a quick shop on the way home and came home with a whole chicken.  We washed the chicken and then set about adding the stock ingredients into my large pot; my son laughed at the size of the chicken and how funny it looked; 5 year olds have a great sense of humour and their imagination is priceless!

The stock required 90 minutes to infuse on a simmer, and if I had my way again I would do it the day before, it just gives you the ability to effortlessly skim of the fat before using it.

The Chicken Noodle Soup quickly followed and I was really pleased I had a packet of Orgran Corn and Rice Noodles in the pantry.

The Soup was a hit and of course my son insisted on croutons so that was added too, but you might want to leave this part out.

Chicken Stock

  • whole chicken – washed and placed in stock pot
  • 3 sticks celery – chopped into halves
  • 1 large onion chopped into quarters (Jamie Oliver washes the onion with skin on, and puts the whole lot in – it’s up to you!)
  • 1/2 leek
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 cm piece of garlic chopped roughly
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric (this spice is well-regarded as an antiflammatory by Indians)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 fresh bay leaves (or dry)
  • 1 good pinch of fresh oregano
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 1 stick of cinnamon

Place all ingredients in stock pot, with enough water to cover the chicken, bring the pot to a boil and then gently simmer for 90 minutes.  When time is up, remove the chicken (you will use it later), strain the stock and place it immediately in the fridge.    The chicken can be used for some lovely sandwich fillings, or finely chopped to add back into the chicken noodle soup (see next step).

Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 3 cups of chicken stock plus 2 cups of water
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 leek finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1cm ginger finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of cummin
  • pinch of salt
  • shake of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • potato, carrot, pumpkin, beans (or whatever you like) diced into small cubes so they cook evenly
  • finely chopped poached chicken (leftover chicken from the stock process) as much or as little as you like
  • 1/2 cup of Orgran corn and rice noodles

Gently fry the onion, leek, garlic, ginger, celery, salt, add the cummin and wait until aroma is released, add the stock and water, bring to a simmer.  Place vegetables into soup mixture, cover the pot with a lid and cook on a simmer for 30 minutes.  Add noodles cook for a further 12 minutes (or per instructions for cooking of noodles), add chopped cooked chicken, cook for a further 3 minutes (to warm through), finish with freshly ground pepper and parsley.  Hope you and your family enjoy this soup!

Serves 6

This Recipe is linked to Allergy Free Wednesdays – a great spot to find some innovative food.

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