Monday, 7 January 2013
When my other half came down with a cold that seemed twice, if not three times as bad as the one I've just left behind, I decided to bring on the heavy armoury – real chicken soup. After consulting the internet for recipes and phoning my mum, I knew just what to do. Even though we're not Jewish, I love this expression, so here comes the Jewish penicillin! Don't be a "Suppen-Kaspar" but eat up and stay healthy. ;)
Since there are just two of us and there never is any room in the freezer, I used only half a roasting chicken. Otherwise, we'd be eating chicken soup for a month. You can also use a broiling chicken but free range or organic broiling chickens are not easy to get hold of here, hence the free range roasting chicken. The other half, I seasoned with pepper, salt and sweet Hungarian paprika and roasted in the oven at gas mark 5/200 °C for 50 minutes.
1/2 free range or organic roasting chicken (approx. 750 g)
2.5 l cold water
1 whole onion
1 celery stick
2 large carrots
1/2 - 1 chicken stock cube
freshly ground black pepper
5 whole cloves
boiled vermicelli or boiled rice
1. Place the chicken in a large saucepan and add the cold water. Cover and slowly bring to the boil, Then reduce the heat to a simmer. Skim any scum off the water surface. (There wasn't any on mine.)
2. Meanwhile peel the vegetables and cut them into 1 cm cubes. Stud the top of the onion with the cloves.
3. Once the broth is clear, add all the vegetables and season with pepper and plenty of salt. (I learned the hard way that a meat soup needs lots more salt than a veggie soup, but you can always add more at the end.)
4. Cover again and simmer for about two hours. Check the taste and add either half or the whole stock cube. Simmer for a further hour. Check the taste and adjust if necessary. Remove the onion and discard.
5. Take out the chicken, discard the skin and remove the meat from the bones. It should just fall off the bones. Tear the meat into irregular chunks and return these to the soup.
6. To serve, add some boiled vermicelli pasta or rice to a bowl and top up with the soup, meat and vegetables.