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Chicken noodle soup for the soul
Lets set the scene for you, it’s raining in Sydney (an unseasonally chilly springtime). As the rain patters away on the windowsill, each droplet draws us closer to our comfiest clothes and cancelling plans to stay inside and watch the heavens open up and hydrate the city. At this point silence and awe fill my tiny apartment space, followed by the flicker of the flame in my heart of possibility and anticipation: ‘ What can I cook from scratch today?’
This from scratch recipe is divine. Cooking has this incredible capacity to take me out of my headspace and into my heart. My little kitchen and the magical creations it has inspired have been mind body spirit medicine. Nutrition is so much more than science! It’s delicious nourishing medicinal meals that transform life.
If you have been following my page for a while, my ethos has always been Delicious & Nutritious. Both are possible.
This recipe is slow, intentional and steady for optimum flavour yielding a nutritional gold at the end of this rainbow. It’s best for those days where you’ve got time at home to nurture it through the process.
You will need:
1 Organic whole chicken
1 organic carrot
1/4 pumpkin (Japanese or butternut)
2 tablespoons of chopped spring onions
1 bulb of Italian garlic (a whole bulb not just a clove)
1 bunch of fresh thyme
1 bunch of fresh oregano
3 bay leaves
Cayenne pepper, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons of chopped parsley
Salt & Pepper
Butter (or for a dairy free option – olive oil)
2 cups of kelp noodles
Phase 1: Roasting your chicken
This is my secret to unlocking the flavours of the soup.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. It may require less if you have a strong oven.
Step 2: Prepare the chicken. In an oven proof dish (preferably that has a lid to lock in the juices) – loosely chop 1/4 pumpkin, 1 carrot, 1 onion and Slice an entire bulb of garlic in half horizontally for the roast garlic. Arrange the chicken and the veggies into the oven proof dish.
Step 3: Season and stuff the chicken. Squeeze half a lemon over the chicken and veggies then place the remainder of the lemon into the chicken cavity. Into the chicken cavity stuff 10 thyme stalks with leaves intact and roughly 1/2 handful of fresh oregano leaves + the top half of the garlic bulb. You will need remove these and discard when the chicken has cooked.
Step 4: Season the chicken with sea salt, black pepper & 1 heaped teaspoon of sweet paprika and massage in or under the skin using 2 tablespoons of butter. Add 3 bay leaves to the veggies
Step 5: Cover and put the chicken in the oven for 1.5 hours or until the chicken skin turns a light brown. For the skin to turn light brown it might need 20 minutes on high heat with the oven proof lid off to crisp the skin.
Step 6: Set the chicken and veggies aside to cool and start shredding the pieces of chicken with tongs and a fork.
Step 8: Depending on how much soup you make you likely won’t need the entire chicken. It depends how many people you are feeding. I’m serving for 3 today and I used 1/2 the chicken. I set aside the rest in a separate container for meal preparation for the rest of the week.
Phase 2: The soup
Step 1: Turn on the stove and heat a saucepan, Transfer 1/3 cup of the sauce from the oven dish (it will be buttery, juicy and contain enough fat to fry) into the pan. Add the roasted garlic paste (see tip below) and the veggies from the oven dish and sautéed for 1 minute (pumpkin, carrot, onion).
Tip! You will need to squeeze the roasted garlic from the bulb. Roast garlic has an amazing fragrance. It should resemble a paste as you squeeze it out.
Step 2: Now for the magic. Add the fragrance: 1/3 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/3 teaspoon of nutmeg, a pinch of cayenne Pepper, 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves (stalks removed) and 1 teaspoon of chopped oregano leaves, 1/3 teaspoon of sea salt and a sprinkle of black pepper, 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons of spring onions. Stir for 1 – 2 minutes to unlock the flavours.
Step 3: Add the shredded chicken pieces and stir with a wooden spoon to allow the chicken to absorb the spices for 1 minute.
Step 4: Now you’re ready for your liquid: Add 1 L of water into your soup. (2L if you used the whole chicken. Note: if you used the whole chicken you will likely need to double the amount of spices from step 2).
Step 5: Leave to simmer for the next 20 – 30 minutes
Step 4: Cook the kelp noodles separately in boiling water for 5 minutes and once cooked Add 1 cup of kelp noodles to the pot. 2 cups if you used the whole chicken. The key with the kelp noodles if you plan to have multiple meals out of this, is to separate the noodles from the soup for storage purposes, or I cook enough kelp noodles for the current dish and when reheating the soup the next day cook a new batch of kelp noodles and mix the kelp noodles in on the day and serve. Noodles don’t store well combined with the soup.
Taste it sporadically. Add more salt and pepper if it needs more flavour. I always start with less salt and build as needed. Having the dish less salty is much better than too salty. hehe. Build to your salt preference.
You’ll know the dish is ready when the kelp noodles are soft not chewy.
To serve: Remove the bay leaves and serve with 4 fresh parsley leaves.