Occasionally here at the New Fat Ladies, S-J and I do a bit of cooking on our own. This recipe is one such meal. S-J is also brewing up a singular sensation recipe of her own that is coming shortly, so look out for that (you’ve probably seen spoilers if you follow us on Twitter and/or Instagram, we’re the @newfatladies at both of those).
So, I have been making this soup for a fairly long time now. It’s my go-to cheer up/don’t be sick/I’ll make you love me with food/today is a day that ends in Y – soup!
It’s fairly basic, if you can chop and stir and reach the stove – you can make it. I made it up based on chicken soups I’ve had in the past. It used to be more complicated with other veggies, herbs and spices, but pared down like this to its basic parts, this is how I love it. Feel free to veg it up (finely sliced kale/spinach is great in it, so is a mix of finely diced potato/sweet potato and turnip minus the cream for a chicken and veggie soup, add parsley and lemon to freshen it up) and slurp it down.
I take terrible Instagram photos because the spiffy camera does not live at my house. NO APOLOGIES!
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Time: approx 30 mins for me, so 45 mins if you haven’t made it eleventy billion times
Yield: enough for 6-8 people, freezes well.
- 4 chicken breasts/5 chicken thighs (or a combination of both)
- 2 litres chicken stock
- 500 ml water (optional)
- 50 gms butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large leek (thinly sliced)
- 3 large carrots (finely diced)
- 4 celery stalks (finely diced)
- 3 garlic cloves (finely sliced, or crushed)
- 4 stalks of thyme
- ¼ cup Polenta/Cornmeal (uncooked)
- 1 cup dried egg fettucine (broken into one inch pieces) or orrechiette
- ½ cup thickened cream or 1/2 cup full cream milk
- S+P to taste
Note: Please have a heatproof mug/pyrex jug/something that can be dipped into a hot pot, at the ready.
Cook the chicken**
In a medium sized pot pour in one litre of chicken stock, bring to a gentle boil. Add the chicken breasts/thighs and return to the boil (if they are not fully covered, add the extra 500 ml water). Reduce heat and cook at a high simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove one fillet and check to make sure all pinkness is gone. Remove the rest of the fillets to a bowl to cool. Leave stock in pot.
Make the soup bit
In a large pot on medium high heat, melt the butter and olive oil together. Add leeks and garlic and cook until just soft, add carrots, celery, thyme and S+P and sauté until all coated and shiny and beginning to stick to the bottom. Pour stock from your chicken pot into this large pot, add the other litre of stock and bring up to the boil.
Reduce the heat and allow the vegetables to simmer until tender (but not squishy). Using your heatproof jug/mug/whatever, remove about a cup of the hot liquid. Add the cornmeal to this jug and whisk with a fork into a paste. Set aside. Shred/chop your cooled chicken, set aside.
Cook the pasta, and thicken it all up
Return pot to the boil and add pasta. Boil for 8 – 10 minutes. Reduce heat and add the cornmeal/stock mixture back into the big pot. Stir well to combine. Pour in the cream and the chicken and stir again. Leave to barely simmer for 2 – 3 minutes to reheat the chicken (don’t let it boil again as cream may split). Fish out the thyme stalks. Serve in bowls, and it doesn’t need it, but it is delicious with buttery bread on the side.
Now eat it, I promise that unless you are lactose/protein/gluten intolerant, you will immediately feel at least 10% better than you did before.
** I have also been known to make this with a barbecued chook from the supermarket, just remove all skin and stuffing (or keep the stuffing for sandwiches NOM NOM NOM), shred remaining chicken and add to the pot at the end just before serving.