Oldie but goodie: Not your Typical Chicken Noodle Soup

To conclude Anniversary Week, I’m recycling my most viewed blog post ever. I guess people love chicken noodle soup!

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Last week, I wanted to try a chicken noodle soup recipe. Normally, when making chicken soup of any kind, I don’t use a recipe, but when I spotted this Asian Chicken Noodle Broth in the February Budget issue of Jamie Magazine, I had to try it. I love Asian noodle dishes and soups, and with good Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese restaurants in short supply around here, I have to make my own Asian delights at home instead.

About this recipe, I actually made it twice. When I went to make it the first time, I was half way through the recipe when I realised that I didn’t have coconut milk (I thought I had put it on our shopping list, but apparently not!). I had to improvise, and came up with a variation based on a Martha Stewart Tofu Spinach Soba broth I’d made a few years ago. When I attempted the soup again, I had coconut milk, and although the Jamie recipe is good, I liked mine better! I’ve included the recipe and my variation.

By the way, one thing I really liked about the method of making this soup is boiling and shredding the chicken: it’s the easiest way for a chicken to be cut into its pieces, and there’s something so therapeutic(?) satisfying(?) about shredding meat.Weird, I know! The first time I did this, I had an audience of three dogs, watching me intently and licking their chops.

Asian Chicken Noodle Broth by Jamie Oliver

*From Jamie Magazine, Issue 26, February 2012, pg. 32

1 whole chicken, about 1.6 kg
2 carrots
3 cm piece of ginger, peeled
250g snap peas (roughly a small package)
2 red chillies
1 bunch coriander/cilantro
400 mL tin coconut milk
1 tsp turmeric
4 nests of dried noodles
Soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime

1. Put the chicken in a snug fitting pot and just cover with water. Add a good pinch of salt, cover, and simmer over a medium-low heat for 1.5 hours.

 2. Carefully remove the chicken to a board and, when cool enough to handle, pick through and shred the meat; discard the bones and skin. Meanwhile, turn the heat up under the broth and reduce to 1.2 – 1.5 litres.

3. Finely slice the carrots, ginger, snap peas, chillies and coriander/cilantro stalks, using a food processor or mandolin. Or in my case, a knife.

4. When the broth has reduced, add the coconut milk, turmeric, shredded chicken and noodles. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the vegetables and cook for 1 minute so everything retains a bit of a crunch. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning with soy sauce and lime juice to taste, then ladle into bowls and serve with coriander/cilantro leaves.

Jamie’s version

This soup was good, I just felt the flavours weren’t strong enough. I expected more coconut taste to come through, but no. I also had a large serving of coriander and sliced chillies on the side for fresh bursts of flavour. The shredded chicken, though, is to die for!

Here’s my variation on the soup:

Omit the coconut milk and turmeric, and replace with:

1 tbsp sesame oil
3 spring onions (aka green onions)
3 cm piece of ginger, peeled
1/3 cup soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp honey
coriander/cilantro
4 red chillies

1. Slice the white stalks of the spring onions and ginger; leave the green stalk to put into the soup. In a small saucepan, saute the onions and ginger in sesame oil for about 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce to this and let it bubble. 

2.  Repeat steps 2 and 3 of the recipe above. For step 4, stir in your mixture in the saucepan to your soup pot, then add the lime juice and honey.

3. Add the vegetables and spring onions, and cook for 1 minute. Ladle into bowls and garnish with lots of coriander/cilantro and red chillies.

My version

For both versions, I would recommend freshly cooking your noodles for every new bowl of soup you’ll have rather than cooking them altogether when you first make the recipe. There’s nothing worse than soft noodles in a delicious broth! If you try both versions, let me know which one you prefer!

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I’m working on a few posts for next week, including:
– a post on our little highland getaway to Aviemore this past week, where we ate so much good food! + a recipe.
– a response to my sister-in-law Kate’s question about winter running gear.
– and starting my posts on my visit home to Winnipeg. This past October.
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I had a physio appointment yesterday that went really well! I got my spine and pelvis manipulated and cracked again, and had some pretty extensive fascial manipulation done to my ankle to relieve that pain in my heel which just hasn’t gone away. Until now. For a while now, I’ve been wondering whether the pain has been related to old ankle injuries, like spraining your ankle about five times in your life, twice in the last two years. Do you think that would affect it? Turns out, yes. Upon informing my physio of these past injuries, he promptly prodded my entire foot for tender spots; every tender spot was met with his thumb pressing down into it to some how manipulate the ligament that may have been moved around from all this ankle trauma. To out a long story short, as my physio says, fingers crossed this works! So far, I’ve not felt that familiar pain I’ve had for the last seven months, so hopefully something’s worked!
Hope you’ve all had a great weekend, back to work tomorrow!
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