We’re almost on the other side of all these illnesses in our household. I’m still feeling very rough, but DS1 (dear son 1)has got his sparkle back and is returning to his active, curious form. We’ve been lucky that he is a great little eater. The only thing he has flat-out refused is turnip. So when he turns off his food, it’s a very clear sign that he’s out of sorts.
Last month we were in Sydney for my Dearly Departed Father In Law’s funeral, and we were all still recovering from Covid. My Dear Mother In Law made us this soup, and DS1 gobbled it up enthusiastically. My husband’s family is Italian, so it’s got all the Italian twists and takes on a very soothing texture (which has been so lovely for my sore throat).
My go-to chicken soup is more of an Asian style, which involves sneaking lots of different immune herbs into the broth. While I love this herbal-infused style soup, DS1 is not quite convinced. But Nonna’s version hits the spot. Last night he ate three servings, which is a miracle, and hopefully means he is well on the mend. So I share this recipe as a worthy addition to your medicinal cooking repertoire.
Nonna’s Soothing Chicken Soup
Part 1: The Broth
- 1 medium-sized chicken
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 onions, quartered
- 2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
- Any aromatic herbs you have in the garden such as bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, sage or oregano
- A splash of white wine (or you could do lemon juice or a dash of apple cider vinegar)
Part 2: The Soup
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 2 carrots, extra, sliced
- 1 onion, extra, sliced
- 1 stick celery, extra, sliced
- 150 g angel hair pasta broken into 1-inch pieces (if you’d like to go gluten-free, you could use rice or rice noodles)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Parsley (to garnish)
- Pecorino or parmesan cheese, finely grated (to garnish)
Place the chicken, carrots, onions, celery, white wine and herb in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add 2 litres of water, or enough to cover the chicken and vegetables. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour, skimming occasionally.
Remove the chicken and set it aside to cool slightly. Strain the broth, discarding the solids.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek, garlic and extra carrots, onion and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the strained broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, strip the chicken meat from the bones and tear it into bite-sized pieces. Add to the soup.
Add the pasta/rice/noodles and simmer for 4–5 minutes, or until the pasta/rice/noodles are tender. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with parsley and cheese.