Chicken Noodle Soup
If there has been roast chicken for dinner earlier in the week then my family know with a cosmic sense of inevitability that there will be chicken noodle soup being dished up to them before long. Sadly, they are the only children in the history of the universe not to like it. My husband and I love it, so yar boo sucks to them.
First you strip the chicken. If you haven’t witnessed that scene of Bill Bailey stripping a chicken in the BBC series Black Books, then close down this blog immediately and google Manny Stripping the Chicken. Wait five minutes for the convulsions to stop, then return to making soup. Make chicken stock from the bits left over as advised in this blog, oh, about a month ago. You can pause for a couple of days after this step, or carry straight on. Reserve about two cups of stock and freeze the rest in little baggies, if there is any left.
Place in a large saucepan sliced mushrooms, diced carrot, chopped cauliflower and the sliced off kernels of a cob of corn that you bought from Frank this morning that is so fresh it still has a caterpillar wandering around in it. Also a slice of butter and a squashed clove of garlic. I don’t put in onion or celery because I feel that there’s enough of that going on in the stock, but you can really put in any hard vegetables you like in here. I don’t see any point putting stuff like zucchini in, it’s mainly water and its delicate flavour disappears in a soup like this. Cook it up until the mushrooms start looking rather tasty. Add the stock and a whole lot of pasta. I put in dried fettuccine because it’s easy to pull out for my fussy kids, but I’d prefer to use a pasta of a similar size to the bits of vegetable in the soup. I’m really bad at estimating quantities of pasta, so your guess will be better than mine. Sometimes I put in a chunk of chorizo or salami for a bit of smokiness and pull it out before serving.
I cook it uncovered until the pasta is cooked because I like all the stock to be absorbed. If you prefer it more soupy then stick a lid on it. I then remove the chicken flavoured pasta for my overindulged children. I put in the bits of chicken and also some chopped up parsley and stir it in. Actually, I appear to have purchased coriander today, shopping while thinking of other things. I’m sure that will be just lovely. I did have parsley growing next to my accidental rosemary in the front yard, but it doesn’t have appeared to have survived the hot weekend, and there wasn’t enough to harvest anyway. Perhaps I should water my herbs.
Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan and a cheeky Chardonnay. Is there any other kind?