chickensouprecipe

There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of homemade chicken soup – it truly is soulfood. We love to use a leftover roast chicken to make chicken soup, but uncooked chicken breasts work well here too. Here is the best chicken soup recipe we’ve ever made, plus 5 variations including Thai, Chinese and Italian.

Ingredients

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, cut into 1cm slices

2 celery ribs, cut into 1cm slices

2 cloves garlic

6 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

6 peppercorns

Leftover roast chicken or 2 uncooked, skinless chicken breasts

250g pasta like vermicelli, orzo or egg noodles

Method

1. Heat a large stock pan over low-medium heat. Saute the onion in a little olive oil until starting to soften. Add the carrots, celery and garlic and continue to saute for 5 minutes.

2. Add the thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns and chicken, and enough water to just cover, and bring to a boil. When the soup comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes (if using uncooked chicken, check that the chicken breasts are cooked by taking one out and cutting it in the middle). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Remove the thyme, bayleaf and peppercorns. Shred the chicken using 2 forks, return to the stock and add the pasta. Simmer for another 5 minutes and serve.

Variations

Thai
Add julienned slices of ginger and 1/2 cup of coconut milk 5 minutes before serving. You can also add a few drops of fish sauce and sesame oil. Replace the pasta with rice noodles. Finish with a handful of coriander leaves and thin slices of red chili.

Chinese
Instead of seasoning with salt, season to taste of low-sodium soy sauce. Instead of pasta, add frozen dumplings to the soup and cook for 5 minutes before serving with thinly sliced spring onions.

Italian
Along with celery and carrots, saute diced zucchini and florets of cauliflower. Add a can of tomatoes to the pot after sauteeing the vegetables. Before serving, add a handful of chopped parsley.

Mexican
Simmer the soup with a smokey chili pepper like chipotle or poblano. When ready to serve, replace the pasta with crunchy corn tortilla strips (or broken tortilla chips) and diced avocado. Serve with coriander.

Indian
After sauteeing the onion, add 1-2 tablespoons of Indian curry paste and cook for 2 minutes before adding the vegetables. Add small cubes of potato to the carrot and celery.