Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Rich Chicken Soup

This soup is from inaugural Australian Masterchef Julie Goodwin's cooking show called Home Cooked! (don't forget that exclamation mark). I can't say that I was a huge fan of her show, but I did only catch the first couple of episodes and she may have not yet found her feet. Is it still going on?

Although I wasn't enamoured by the show, this chicken soup caught my eye. Although Julie calls it a "comforting hug" I just wanted a yummy chicken soup to eat while suffering through a cold. I liked that it looked quite rich and almost creamy with the addition of flour and it used risoni rather than a noodle. It was intriguing, so it had to be made.

The recipe had a relatively simple ingredient list. Just some onion, garlic, carrot and celery, chicken thighs, risoni, stock and flour. As you can see, I am embracing the 2009 Masterchef message and utilising Campbell's chicken stock. In my defence, I didn't have the time or means to make my own and even if I did, my freezer was full. It actually tasted pretty good. I'd use it again.

In terms of cooking, you just brown your chicken, add your vegetables and cook until they soften. Then you sprinkle over the flour. I cooked this for a little bit longer than the recipe said to get the floury taste out. Once that's done, you add the stock slowly while stirring so there are no lumps. After it boils away for a bit, add the risoni and let it bubble until the risoni is cooked. Simple.

I really enjoyed this soup. It had a really nice deep flavour and I loved the texture the risoni added. It was also really filling. I froze the leftovers into single sized portions and reheated them in the microwave for lunches/dinners and it reheated really well. I did find that adding a little bit more stock or water when defrosting helped keep the soup from getting gluggy.

I was very impressed and I'll make this again.

Rich chicken noodle soup
from Home Cooked! with Julie Goodwin

This is the recipe as written, I halved the quantities listed below.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1kg chicken thigh fillets, trimmed and sliced
2 brown onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, halved lengthwise then sliced
¼ cup plain flour
2 litres chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup risoni pasta
Chopped parsley to serve

Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium- high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook a further 2-3 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add flour and stir to coat the contents of the pot.

Slowly add stock, ½ cup at a time, until all flour is incorporated and there are no lumps. Stir in remaining stock and bring to the boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add risoni and cook for another 10 minutes or until pasta is tender. Ladle soup into large soup bowls and top with chopped parsley.

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