Chicken and corn noodle soup

Soup was created to make use of those left overs, it's such a wonderful versatile dish and relatively easy to make. With a good hearty soup being a winter staple as well as a favourite comfort food, did you ever stop to think about its origins? Before we get started on the recipe for Chicken noodle soup, you might like to ponder on the following facts.

Stone age stew? Soup making may be older than we'd thought!

According to one archaeologist, the tradition of making soup is probably at least 25,000 years old.

Soup is considered to be as old as the history of cooking. In times when food was scarce, dumping various ingredients into a pot to boil was not only cheap, it was filling. Its simple constitution made it accessible to rich and poor alike, and simple ingredients made it easy to digest for the both the healthy and sick. Each culture adopted its own variation with the ingredients on hand—Spanish gazpacho, Russian borscht, Italian minestrone − but the basics remain the same.

Many historians believe soup served as the foundation for the first public restaurants in 18th century Paris. For more on the history of soup, check out the link under the heading Information, recipe and image source at the foot of this page.

Back to the present

Now, with winter having descended upon us...big time, Sofia is offering up a lovely heartwarming soup. Not only is it tasty, it's also very healthy. And thus, a guilt-free nutritious experience for the whole family.

Sofia makes her own stock. She sagely advises the most cost effective way is to buy a whole chicken and follow the instructions:

Sofia's chicken stock

There's no better foundation for a delicious soup than your very own home-made stock. You also could add some lovely buck choy, snow peas, even some bamboo shoots etc....

  • Dissect a whole chicken into pieces (breast pieces, thigh pieces, wings etc...and don’t waste the neck!)
  • Remove as much of the skin as you can (healthier and certainly less calories)
  • Place the pieces into a saucepan with celery, carrots, potatoes (or any other vegetable you have left in your vegetable bin (eg parsnip or turnip) together with a couple of sprigs of parsley
  • Add three chicken stock cubes and some ground pepper to taste and cover the chicken and vegetables with water
  • Simmer on a low setting for at least an 1¼ hours
  • Roughly shred the chicken, removing bones and any remaining skin, and mix in with the stock
  • There should be enough stock for three or more soups. Preserve one third of the stock for your chicken noodle soup, divide the remainder into two. freezing in separate containers for future use.

Now on to the real business of the day...lets get souped up with a delicious bowl of chicken and corn noodle soup! It's works well as a starter or main course.

Chicken and corn noodle soup

Serves 4

Preparation time: 25 minutes | Cooking time:30 minutes | Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 4 cobs corn (best when in season)
  • 500ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 1½ tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 600g chicken thigh fillets
  • 2 spring onions
  • A pinch of Chinese five spice according to taste (more than a pinch can be a touch overpowering)
  • 450g packet fresh rice noodles or fresh noodles of your choice.

Method

Step 1

  • Peel and finely chop onion
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium–high heat
  • Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until soft
  • Meanwhile, remove husks and silks from corn
  • Working with 1 cob at a time, hold upright and cut kernels away from cob

Step 2

  • Add kernels and stripped cobs to onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until kernels are starting to soften
  • Add stock, soy sauce, chicken and 1L water
  • Increase heat to high and bring to the boil
  • Reduce heat to medium and bring mixture to a gentle simmer, then cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken and set aside

Step 3

  • Cook soup for a further 15 minutes to develop flavours
  • Meanwhile, slice spring onions on the diagonal
  • Combine five-spice, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl
  • Place noodles in a heatproof bowl
  • Cover with boiling water
  • Stand, gently separating noodles, for 10 minutes or until softened

Step 4

  • Using tongs, remove corn cobs from soup and discard
  • Place a sheet of paper towel flat over surface of soup to remove oil, then discard
  • Repeat twice more

Step 5

  • Drain noodles, then divide among bowls with soup
  • Roughly shred chicken into bowls
  • Scatter with spring onions and a pinch of spiced salt to serve

 Information, recipe, and image source

The history of soup: http://ilovesoup.net/thehistoryofsoup/#sthash.QnJWxCx5.dpuf
Recipe:Nick Bradbuty http://www.taste.com.au/
Photography:Brett Stevens