One of the memories from my childhood that I cherish beyond measure is my mother making me chicken soup. As I grew up, and she grew older and lost some of her love of cooking, these delicacies became rarer with every passing year. Honestly, I don’t think I have tasted her chicken soup at all in my adult life. But despair not, little me. Fortunately, I have learned to cook, and one of my absolute favorite things to do in the kitchen is to recreate the dishes that my mother used to make when I was a little girl.
I have been suffering from this stubborn flu for the past one week, and the coughing has made my muscles sore. Even my bones hurt at this point! And while I have been having lots of ginger-lemon tea, I thought this would be the perfect time to recreate my mother’s chicken soup. Because I was going to have this for lunch, I decided to add some gluten free rice noodles. If you are going for a keto meal, feel free add more chicken and veggies, and skip the carbs.
I am a very whimsical cook, and I usually tend to wing it in the kitchen, chucking the recipe book out the window (not literally!), and that is also the approach I took to this soup. But there are just certain spices I simply gravitate to, quite subconsciously. In this state of painful flu, it was ginger.
The secret to a good soup, in my opinion, is to make your own broth. I started off my broth with a chicken breast and a whole leg. I soaked them in about a litre of water, along with salt, bayleaves, a generous amount of ginger, cloves, shards of cinnamon, sliced green chillies, and cardamoms. If you are not a fan of cardamoms, I know I am not, feel free to skip them.
The worst thing that could ever happen while you are slurping on a comforting bowl of piping hot noodle soup, is accidentally biting on to a pod of cardamom. And believe me, that can happen! Even if you think you’re going to remove them later, those nasty little buggers can slip under the cloudy white broth and hide! For a bit of extra luxury, I snuck in half a tablespoon of ghee. Ghee is absolutely amazing! I could write an entire post about that! As a matter of fact, maybe I will.
While the heat worked its magic on the broth, I got started on my veggies. I began with finely chopping an onion. It needs to be finely chopped, because thick chunky onions are so not my thing. Then I diced up a green bell pepper, peeled and diced a carrot, cut “borboti” – a kind of long bean native to South Asia – into centimeter long pieces, and chopped up some purple cabbage. These went onto a pan with sizzling hot ghee and cooked until tender. You could say it was a deshi take on the mirepoix! Especially since we don’t get celery around here.
Once the veggies were softened and the chicken was cooked, I took the chicken and spices out of my pot, and slid in the veggies. Now for the secret ingredient: one packet of Maggi masala. You can use any instant ramen spice you wish to, but Maggi is the most popular thing here. After adding the spice, I turned up the heat, and once it came to a boil again, I added the rice noodles to the stock. These noodles only take about 3 minutes to cook. I chopped up the chicken and added it back to the now simmering pot of noodle soup. I let some of the water evaporate to intensify the flavor. And voila! Soup is served!
Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 pieces Chicken with bones
- 1 root Ginger vary as per your taste
- 5 pieces Clove
- 2 leaves Bay leaves
- 2 pods Cardamom
- 1 stick Cinnamon
- 3 sliced Green Chillies less if you want less heat
- 1 litre Water
- 1 tbsp Ghee or olive oil if you wish, but I recommend ghee!
- 1 large Onion
- 1 Carrot peeled and diced
- 1 cup Green bell peppers or any other color
- 1 cup Borboti or any other beans
- 1 cup Cabbage shredded
- 1 handful Rice Noodles
- 1 packet Instant Ramen spice not the noodle, just the spice
- 1 tbsp Ground black pepper
- Salt as per taste
Place a large saucepan over heat, and add the chicken, salt, ginger, bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, green chilies and half a tablespoon ghee, and cover it with a lid.
While the broth cooks, peel and cut the vegetables.
In another skillet or frying pan, heat half a tablespoon of ghee and add the onions. Let them caramelize.
Add the rest of the veggies and cook them until they soften.
Take the chicken and the spices out of the broth.
Discard the spices and shred the chicken.
Add the rice noodles and the ramen spice to the broth and let the noodles cook. This should not take more than 3 minutes.
Add the chicken and the veggies to the broth. Sprinkle ground black pepper according to your heat tolerance, and bring to boil.
Let it simmer.
Let some of the water evaporate to intensify the taste, and then serve!