Apparently it is scientifically proven that soup will make you feel better when you're ill. And none more so than chicken noodle soup, in my opinion. This soup is surprisingly simple to make, even if you're a little under the weather, and the combination of comforting noodles, hot broth and a little spicy kick at the end is sure to cure what ails you. I'm not usually a big soup eater - I don't find it really fills me up, so I get hungry almost straight away - but sometimes it's exactly what you're craving, especially when it's so miserable out.
This soup is totally adaptable, too. Use up some of your favourite vegetables by throwing them in the mix, or swap out the rice vermicelli noodles for more substantial egg ones. You could even use small pasta shapes in place of the noodles (but don't you dare think about leaving out the carbs altogether). Skip the chilli flakes when you're making the stock for a mellower flavour, or garnish with fresh chillies or hot sauce if you like it fiery. Want to make this even easier? Use the meat and bones from one of those supermarket rotisserie chickens to make your stock and soup. All that said, you must eat this under a blanket whilst wearing pyjamas and, preferably, with your favourite trashy TV show playing. There's no negotiating on that part, sorry.
For the broth
- bones of one whole roast chicken
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped in half
- 1 large carrot, chopped into 2-3 pieces
- 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and slightly smashed
- 1-2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1-2 tsp. chilli flakes
- salt and pepper
- 2 litres of water (or enough to cover the contents above)
For the soup
- shredded meat from 1 whole roast chicken
- 2 carrots, diced
- handful on mangetout, sliced
- 4 nests of rice vermicelli noodles
- fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)
- Pop all of the ingredients for the broth into the slow cooker, making sure the contents are covered by the water (add more if not) and cook for 5 hours on high or 10 hours on low.
- Strain into a large bowl and rest in the fridge overnight.
- Remove as much of the fat from the top of the broth as possible (it should be solid after the night in the fridge).
- Pour the broth into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the leek and carrot and cook until just going tender.
- Add the rice noodles and the chicken, cooking for a further 2-3 minutes until the noodles have softened and the chicken is warmed through.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley, if using. Slurp noisily when eating.
- The finished soup can be frozen in individual portions and reheated when needed, either in a saucepan or by blasting in the microwave in one minute intervals until piping hot.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen