My mother’s chicken soup recipe
I think this may have been originally my grandmother’s chicken soup recipe and it has passed down through the generations. It’s incredibly easy to make and requires little attention. We always have a few portions of this in the freezer for when we are feeling poorly with a cold, or just in the mood for a delicious healthy broth.
1 whole free range chicken or 4 chicken thighs (though whole with giblets is better for flavour)
1 whole onion (skin on)
1 parsnip (whole)
3 carrots (peeled and chopped in to big bite size pieces)
2 celery sticks (chopped)
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
pinch of salt
300ml chicken stock
100g vermicelli noodles
Few sprigs of dill
Place the whole chicken (including giblets) or chicken thighs if using in to a wide, deep pan. Add the whole onion in its skin (this helps the soup take on a golden colour), the whole parsnip (skin on), the chopped carrots, bay leaf, peppercorns, salt and celery pieces in to the pan around the chicken.
Add the stock and then add enough (cold) water to cover the whole chicken.
Bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer. You will get a layer of froth from the chicken as it boils and then continues to simmer, remove this carefully with a slotted spoon as and when you see it appear. Gently simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Check the chicken is cooked through and if not continue simmering until satisfied it is cooked through.
While the soup is simmering prepare your vermicelli according to the packet instructions and leave to one side.
Remove the giblets and onion and discard. If you can dig out the peppercorns and bay leaf and discard too great, but don’t worry if you can’t. Remove the chicken on to a chopping board and remove the skin (which will fall away) and then shred the chicken in to large pieces and place back in the soup.
Add vermicelli to individual bowls and pour in the soothing chicken broth along with some chicken pieces and vegetable chunks, top with chopped dill.