Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chicken Vegetable Soup

My mum's Cantonese so I grew up drinking a lot of soups. No meal's complete without a soup. But when I was living alone, I hardly ever made soups cos I don't have patience nor time, at least 3-4 hours which is generally what is required to make Chinese soups - slow simmer to allow all the flavors to be released.

Now that I have the time, it's difficult to get the ingredients - black chicken (In France, are you kidding me ?), chicken feet (I don't even want to go there), pork spare ribs (one would think this should be relatively easy but in France, pork bones are pet food so I have to make a special request at la boucherie) not to mention all the various herbs I'll have to ask my mother to send over.

So I'll just have to wait till I'm home before I'll get my fix of Chinese soups. In the meantime, I'll have to content myself with making Western soups.

Unlike over here where soups are mainly a winter fare, I can have soups any day of the year. This is one of X's favorite & I prepare this in the summer when we want something more filling than a salad & it is so comforting that you want to wrap it tightly around you & cuddle it to bed.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

1. Remove the thighs, legs & wings of a whole chicken for another dish like Pan Fried Chicken with Mango. Put the remainder of the chicken in a soup pot & cover it with water. Add salt. Bring to a boil then simmer till chicken is cooked. You may have to remove the scum from the broth. Remove the chicken & shred the meat. Set aside the shredded chicken & the broth.

2. While the chicken is boiling, diced up the vegetables - 1 zucchini, 2-3 carrots, 1 potato, 2-3 tomatoes & cut 1 onion in slices.

3. Fry some cubed bacon (lardons) then add onions & vegetables. Add 1 Tbsp of tomato paste. Mix it with the vegetables & fry for 10 mins or so. Next pour in the broth & shredded chicken. You can also add chicken or vegetable stock cubes if you like. Boil, then simmer till vegetables are cooked. Add salt & pepper to taste.

This can be served as it is or I like to add some noodles at the end to make it chicken noodle soup. Just add half a packet of instant noodles (note : I don't add the seasoning from the packet esp if you've already added stock cubes & sometimes the flavors are just not right eg. tom yam instant noodles but if you want to, go right ahead).

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