This is my favourite chicken soup recipe, which uses a whole chook (bones in) that can even be started when frozen. It’s inspired by the Chinese chicken and corn recipe – and is so simple, wholesome and healing! There are numerous studies into the healing properties of a chicken-broth based soup, and I do think when convalescing, there is nothing so comforting as a steaming bowl of broth.
You will need:
for the broth:
1 whole chicken about 1.5kg – fresh OR frozen
Your choice of celery leaves, carrot ends, leek stalks, onion skins, garlic, parsley stalks, sprigs of thyme etc…
for the soup:
3 large leeks, sliced finely
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen sweet corn
handful fresh chives and coriander + spring onions
3 cups shredded dark greens like broccoli, silverbeet, kale bok choy, pak choy etc..
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons tamari sauce (or more to taste)
2 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
pure rice noodles like vermicelli or pho
2 egg whites
First make your stock. In a large lidded saucepan cover whole chicken with 2 litres of water, salt, splash of cider vinegar and variety of vegetable scraps like celery leaves and stalks, carrot ends, onion skins, green part of the leeks, parsley stalks, bay leaves etc. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 3-5 hours (could also use a slow cooker on a very low heat overnight/day). Remove chicken onto a plate and cool slightly. Strain stock into another saucepan and put wilted vegetables into the compost. Pull off all meat from the chicken and shred thinly – you might want to use tongs if still too hot. Compost the bones. To the stock add chicken meat, grated ginger, thinly sliced leeks, 1 cup of the corn kernels (reserving 1/2 cup to puree), asian greens, fresh chopped herbs, tamari sauce and sesame oil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add rice noodles of choice and simmer for another 5 minutes. Puree 1/2 cup of corn to a pulp (a stick blender makes this very easy) and stir into the soup. In a bowl lightly whisk egg whites and tip into soup, swirl around with a spoon. Serve with a sprinkle of spring onions.