Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Midweek Supper: Hot and sour chicken soup

Here's a lovely, light, midweek supper to clear your head - perfect if you've got leftover roast chicken from Sunday lunch.  It looks like a lot of ingredients and a lot of work but I promise it's easy peasy and you might have all these items (or at least good alternatives) lurking in your fridge already!

Serves 2 as a main meal.

For the stock:

1 x Organic, free range roast chicken carcass (plus as much meat as you can salvage from it)
1 x small onion, peeled and kept whole
Approx 8 whole cloves
Approx 8 peppercorns
2 x bay leaves
2 x carrots split in half lengthwise
2 x sticks of celery split in half lengthwise
Stalks from a small bunch of parsley

For the soup:

1 x Quantity of fresh home made chicken stock
A few shreds of chicken to taste
1 x bunch of noodles (I like these ones)
1 x thumb sized piece of root ginger peeled and shredded into matchsticks
1 or 2 fresh red chillies (depending on how hot you like it - I like it blistering)  sliced, seeds and all
4 x spring onions
Any vegetables you happen to have to hand - e.g thinly sliced mushrooms, pak choi, spring greens
2 x limes
Leaves from a small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

First make the chicken stock - strip as much meat as you can from the carcass, shred at set aside. Place the remains in a large, heavy bottomed pan. Take your onion and stud with around 8 cloves. Add the onion to the plan along with the two bay leaves, peppercorns, carrot and celery. Fill the pan with cold water until it covers the chicken just over half way. Bring the pan to a gentle simmer then turn down the heat as low as it can go - you want the liquid to bubble only very gently.

Let this continue for around two hours - long enough to tidy up the kitchen, have a bath and climb into a fresh pair of PJs.

To make the soup first drain the stock - you want to keep all the liquid and chuck out all the solids. Place the stock in a saucepan and head to a gentle simmer. Add the ginger, chili and shredded chicken then let the liquid bubble gently for a few minutes. Add the noodles and any vegetables you're using and let simmer until the noodles are just soft. Take off the heat and stir in the parsley.

Divide between two bowels and top with the spring onions and a good squeeze of lime. Enjoy!

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