Soups to power you through the week
Healthy eating: Our roast chicken noodle broth is packed with vegetables and aromatics
Roast chicken noodle soup. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography.
It’s good for us, easy to make and delivers a big hug in a bowl. What’s not to like about homemade soup? It can be as simple as the odds and ends of whatever’s left in the fridge, sweated off in a little oil or butter, simmered in stock and blitzed to a smooth, creamy consistency, or left chunky. Lentils or chickpeas can be added for protein and texture, and chopped herbs can be added at the last minute for freshness.
You could take Domini Kemp’s approach and regard soup as medicine. Her famous flu soup has two whole heads of garlic in it, as well as ginger, sage, thyme and parsley. Or for a more indulgent bowlful, take a look at these ways to make a classic French onion soup.
But, with Health Month at The Irish Times in mind, here is a delicious broth that’s satisfying enough to be a main course in a bowl. It’s packed full of vegetables and aromatics, and doesn’t have any dairy ingredients. Leftovers from a roast chicken can replace the legs, and, if you prefer, you can use cubes of tofu instead.
ROAST CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
Cooking time: 70 minutes
4 chicken legs
A little sunflower oil
3tbsp sesame oil
2 red onions, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
3cm piece of ginger, peeled and shredded
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely diced
1.5 litres chicken stock
40ml soy sauce
1tbs fish sauce
½ Savoy cabbage, trimmed, washed and cut into pieces
1 packet straight-to-wok noodles (300g)
4 spring onions, finely sliced
A little salt and pepper
1 Set the oven to 185 degrees Celsius, or equivalent.
2 Drizzle the chicken legs with the oil, season and cook for 40 minutes until really crisp. I used the crispy skin in my recipe but you can discard it if you don’t fancy it.
3 Put the sesame oil in a saucepan and add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli.
4 Cook for five minutes or so over a low heat.
5 Add the stock, soy, honey and fish sauce and bring to a simmer.
6 Add the cabbage and cook it for three minutes, then add the noodles.
7 Take the chicken off the bone and chop into chunks; add it to the broth followed by the spring onions.
8 Check the seasoning, then ladle evenly into warm bowls.