Chicken noodle soup
Chicken noodle soupNo comments
Few suppers are so satisfying, says Nigel Slater, and the chillies will perk you up no end
- small, hot red chillies - 2 or 3, depending on your heat threshold today
- lemon grass - a couple of thick, young blades or several thinner supermarket stems
- noodles - a small handful
- greens - such as spinach, mustard greens or dark, tender cabbage
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- Using a soup bowl as a measure, pour as much chicken stock as you want to eat into a deep saucepan. I suggest you allow two deep bowlfuls per person.
- Bring the stock to the boil, meanwhile slicing the chillies very finely and removing the seeds if you wish (they carry some heat). The amount you need will depend on how hot your chillies are. I reckon on two very small, very hot chillies per person.
- Smash the lemon grass blades with the handle of a cook's knife so that they splinter but stay together, then add them to the stock with the chillies.
- Turn the heat down so that the stock bubbles gently and leave it until the lemon grass has given up some of its flavour. Taste the stock regularly, but you can reckon on about minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the noodles for only a minute or two in boiling water. They need a bit of bite to them to be good. Drain them and drop them into cold water so they don't stick together.
- Sort through the greens, throwing out anything that isn't perky, then tear them into pieces that won't fall off your spoon.
- Fish the lemon grass from the stock and discard it, then add the greens to the bubbling stock. Taste it for salt, adding some if you think it needs it. Once the greens have softened to a velvety texture - about a minute in the case of spinach, a bit longer for cabbage and for mustard greens - divide the noodles between warm soup bowls and ladle over the hot stock, greens and chillies.
- The crux of it: The quality of the chicken stock is crucial here.
Source: Nigel Slater