Monday, May 14, 2007

Chicken Noodle Soup- an Ode to Mom

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This here is a different little take on the old chicken noodle soup that we are all so familiar with. This dish goes beyond the boundaries of being just an ordinary food. It can actually mean quite a lot to many people, evoking memories of childhood, rainy days and those times when the flu bug struck, and Mom saved the day with a steaming bowl of chicken soup.

Well, today being Mother's Day, I decided to cook this as an ode to my mother, for all those times in my childhood that she nourished me with these kinds of wholesome foods (Ok, there were some yucky foods that she forced upon me too, but for today's sake, I'll chose to forget those).

Chicken Noodle Soup

6 chicken wings, cut into sections
1 brown onion, diced
1 leek, sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
2 cups of small pasta shapes or spaghetti broken into short lengths
1 litre of chicken stock, or water mixed with instant stock powder
parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil

Heat enough oil to coat the base of a large saucepan. Add in chicken pieces and allow to brown on all sides, for approximately 5 minutes. Remove them from the pan and set aside. In the same saucepan, throw in all vegetables and let them sweat for a good 15 minutes till they are soft and fragrant, stirring well to dislodge all the yummy chicken residue from the bottom of the pan. Return chicken pieces to the saucepan followed by the stock, bay leaves and whole thyme sprigs. Simmer for 10 minutes, skimming once or twice to remove any excess oil floating at the top.

Add in pasta to the soup. Allow it just enough time to cook (according to the specified cooking time of the particular pasta you are using). Season well with salt and black pepper. Ladle into bowls, drizzle over with some olive oil and grate over parmesan cheese if desired.

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