Recipe: Chicken Soup

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I am currently ill. Yes, like a typical man I am happy to state to the nation (well the readers of this blog) that I am recovering from the Mumps and after a particularly pleasant visit to the doctor where he agreed with my own diagnosis, I have been signed off.  But I am bad at being ill, I don’t like the sensation of having to do nothing because every time I do I wear myself out and start sweating profusely like some sort of unfit roadie with his bum hanging out etc.

A homemade chicken noodle soup with bread
A homemade chicken noodle soup with bread (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The best thing about being ill though is the fact that you have to eat ‘ill food’.  Ill food being Soups and Broths, comfort food which you are only allowed to eat when you are an invalid, and the only thing you are allowed to do in terms of cooking is to turn on a microwave or a hob.  You can often get your loved ones or partner to wait on you with a little bell, and if you’re extra lucky you’ll get the TV moved upstairs in to the bedroom.

So given the lack of reviews recently in this blog, I thought I would write about Chicken Soup because ultimately someone somewhere will appreciate this as they lie in their bed, on death’s door or possibly in front of the television with Loose Women infecting their cerebral cortex.  Muchness of muchness if you ask me.

If you Google ‘Chicken Soup’ there is not one general soup recipe.  Nope that would be far to easy.  The thing that suprised me was that there are quite literally hundreds of different variations on one basic principal.  The basic principal to Chicken Soup is either one or the other.  Make it yourself or get it from a tin.

Get it from a tin or a box.

Campbell's dry chicken noodle soup
Campbell’s dry chicken noodle soup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Face it, if you’re not culinary in the slightest there is nothing better than getting out a can of Chicken Soup from one of the big names, whacking it in a saucepan and starting at it blankly for 10 minutes.  Or putting it in a microwave and starting at that for 10 minutes.  Many days Tori (wife extraordinaire) whips up food (due to reduced mobility in my right arm and the fact she is an amazing cheffy-cook) but sometimes I am left to fend for myself.  Yes tins are convenient but you are at the mercy of the brand and quality of whatever ingredients they’ve decided to use.

Interestingly the closest I could find to a taste test was done by HuffPost‘s Taste website which I have linked above.  It is Chicken Noodle soup, but the principal is the same.  Personal experience tells me however that there is nothing nice about own brand Chicken Soup.

(what about an Eating Exeter taste test??)

Make it yourself

This, however, is the only way in a perfect world that one should even consider making soup.  So what if you happen to have a spare chicken carcass floating about that you’ve stripped of meat and useful bits? Well by boiling up a carcass, you can create a delicious soup that will last you for ages.
There are two ways of going about making a Chicken Soup from scratch, either you boil up a carcass (which is quite a popular method) some people simply don’t have a carcass they can/want to boil up.  So chicken stock be it from a cube or a Knorr Stock Pot, can be used instead.  The BBC has a nice recipe using ‘chicken stock’.  Be careful with your carcass though.  If you buy an in-store cooked chicken, it can be very greasey and tasteless.  You’re going to be better off paying that bit extra for a nice bird which will be reflected in the taste of the soup at the end

Recipes and quantities seem to vary depending on who you read but this is a very basic recipe that you can play around with and make your own.  The closest recipe to this that I found was from Netmums.

Ingredients:

1 Chicken carcass
2 Carrots
1 Onion
1 Leek
(Any root vegetables that you might have that can be thrown in)
Seasoning

1. Cook up the chicken for 1 to 2 hours in a big pot.
2. When the carcass has fallen to pieces, take a spoon and strain out the gristle and bones so that you have a nice chickeny stock with lots of meat floating in.
3. At this point you can either leave it until the next day (let it cool and put it in the fridge) or  if you’re eating it NOW then chop up a heap of vegetables, preferably root veg, and add to the chicken stock.
4. Boil until the veg is soft, then take a hand blender and attack it.  You can blend it to as chunky or as smooth as required.

Done.  Serve with bread and butter and a cup of tea/lemsip.

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