Conquering Soup

Until last year, I dreaded making and eating soup. What changed? Flavour. First was discovering how much flavour is added by roasting poultry bones before making stock. Second was reading Michael Pollan’s book “Cooked” (thanks W!) and learning that when mirepoix (the standard starter mix of onions, carrots and celery) is cooked SLOWLY, magic happens.  These two techniques have radically changed my approach to soup making and for the first time in my life, I’m confident that my efforts will be considerably better than the bland dishwater I used to turn out.

These two techniques are best highlighted in classic chicken noodle soup.

Chicken Noodle Soup | Life On Van Island

Chicken Noodle Soup
from my own trial and error
serves 4 as a main meal

2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
fist full of fresh parsley, stems and leaves separated, both finely diced
1/2 tsp. coarse saltChicken Noodle Soup | Life On Van Island
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. dried aniseed or fennel
8 cups roasted poultry stock
1 cup diced, cooked chicken
100 grams (4 ounces) uncooked egg noodles or instant stir fry noodles
1 pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Dice vegetables and put parsley leaves aside. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, parsley stems, salt, thyme, and aniseed/fennel, stir well and immediately reduce heat to very low temperature. Allow the vegetables and spices to cook slowly for about 25 minutes (the pot will lightly steam but not boil) until onions are translucent. Add stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Add cooked chicken and noodles and cook 5 more minutes or until noodles are done. Remove from heat and add a pinch of cayenne, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with reserved parsley. Enjoy!

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