Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

The last month or so have been a small reprieve from the rainy weather which, apparently was the main feature of summer in Sydney this year. However today the rain is back and my day is looking very indoor bound, lots of reading, catching up on my blog roll, a bit of knitting and keeping the sick boyfriend company. So due to weather and temperamental stomachs, chicken noodle soup seemed like a pretty good lunch option.

Now I know that chicken noodle soup is nothing ground breaking, I have vivid childhood memories of chicken noodle soup from a packet with toast soldiers. My boyfriend always seems to have a can of chicken and pasta soup somewhere, as an easy back up to actual cooking. I'm sure none of this is uncommon. But while we were in Rome we were caught in a sleet storm and I came up with this soup recipe to keep us company that afternoon. It's dead easy and it will leave you wondering why you bothered with the tinned or packet stuff for all this time.

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

10 + extra cups chicken stock (homemade, pre-made or even stock powder works fine)
1 bulb garlic
1/2 - 1 tsp ground black pepper
5 sprigs thyme
2 tsp chopped chives
1/4 - 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional but it adds quite a nice bite to the soup)
2/3 cup short pasta (any short pasta will do in Rome we used tiny tubes, today I used rissoni)

Feel free to add your own mix of herbs and spices, this recipe is really easy to tweak to suit your tastes.

Peel most of the skin off the whole garlic bulb. Chop the top off the bulb of garlic. I of course forgot to take a photo at this stage but if you want a pic of how it's meant to look pop on over to Smitten Kitchen and while you're there make sure you check out the rest of that recipe for Baked Potato Soup, it's fantastic.

Place the all ingredients except the pasta in a large sauce pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1 hour adding some more stock half way through to make sure the quantities remain the same.

Remove the garlic bulb, any skin which has peeled off during cooking and the sprigs of thyme from the pot. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Meanwhile press the cooked garlic out of its skin and mash into a paste. Add desired amount garlic paste to soup. We like our really garlicky but everyone's different. I add about 3/4 of the paste back into the soup.

Once pasta is done serve and enjoy.

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