Chicken noodle soup from a takeaway can be a gloopy, tasteless affair full of MSG but don’t let that put you off making it yourself. The key to packing flavour into this soup lies in the quality of the stock. Making your own is best, if you buy it you may need to boost it a little with a spoonful of vegetable bouillon powder.
I made this soup for a crowd (the recipe has been scaled down) so I started the day before with a whole chicken which I poached. I then removed the meat from the carcass, roasted the bones for half an hour and returned them to the pot with a couple of bay leaves, a carrot, two celery sticks and a leek. I left this concoction to simmer gently on the Rayburn for about 4 hours before straining and leaving to cool. This gave me a great flavour base to start with and is worth doing if you have the time. If you are only cooking for small numbers freeze any leftover stock and use the rest of the chicken in a salad or a pie next day.
The recipe below uses just a chicken breast (you don’t need much meat) and is a short cut to similar results.
(Serves 4 as a starter)
1 large Boneless Chicken Breast (skin removed)
900ml / 1 ½ pints Chicken Stock
100g / 4 oz Rice or Soba Noodles
Small piece of fresh Root Ginger
1 Clove of Garlic
100g / 4 oz Mushrooms (I used Shitake and Enoki)
2 Spring Onions
2 tsp Soy Sauce, (plus extra for serving)
1 Red Chilli
A handful of Coriander
Pour the stock into a pan. Finely chop the ginger and garlic and add to the stock along with the chicken breast. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes until the chicken is just cooked. Remove the chicken from the pan and shred it using 2 forks.
Chop the spring onions, slice the shitake, separate the enoki mushrooms and add to the stock along with the shredded chicken. Season with the soy sauce. Add the noodles and simmer until they are cooked (just two or three minutes) .
Ladle into bowls and scatter over the remaining spring onions, herbs and chilli shreds if using. Serve with extra soy sauce for sprinkling.