There is something very hearty about a bowl full of homemade chicken soup. Now, you may not agree with me but, I believe that chicken soup is food for the soul. You could be curled up in bed on a cold evening, nursing a rabid cold or flu, or even rushing to work for meetings; the soup is succor. Trust me, I kid you not!
It is nutritious, packed with flavour and can satiate the tummy like no other food can.
My recipe is a combination of the traditional, basic recipe infused with some Indian spices to make the soup more tasteful. However, the basic recipe is pretty simple. You can also add other ingredients like sweet corn, peas, broccoli, French beans, etc to make this a more wholesome dish. Additionally boiled noodles or pasta can also be added to it if you wish to make a complete meal out of it.
- 1 kg skinless, pre cut chicken
- 2-3 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 cloves
- 7-10 black peppercorns
- 8 cups water
- 3 medium sized onions thinly sliced. You can use green onions too. They carry loads of flavour
- 7-8 thick coriander leaf stalks (if that is not available then you can use celery stalks. That is what the original recipe calls for. But, do not use coriander leaves)
- 6-8 carrots cut into 1/2 inch long pieces
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly
- 1 inch piece of ginger, sliced width wise
- Parsley for garnish
- In a heavy bottomed pan (you will need a large one with a lid), add 8 cups of water and add the chicken pieces. Add the ginger, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns and cloves. Season with salt and let it simmer on a high flame till the stock comes to a nice bubble and you see the fat impurities start to float to the top.
- Immediately reduce the heat and skim out the fat impurities with a sieve. This step is vital. Once the heat is lowered the fat will not rise to the top to create an impure froth.
- Cover the pan and let the chicken simmer in the broth for about 30 minutes on low heat. In-between, keep a check. If you see any more impurities rise to the top then sieve them out.
- After half hour add the onions, carrots and coriander/celery stalks. You can add other vegetables at this point.
- Cover the pan again and allow simmering again on low heat for a further 30-40 minutes. This will help infuse the flavour of the vegetables into the broth.
- Once the chicken is cooked, switch off the heat and strain the chicken in a bowl. You will obtain a clear broth. Set that aside and allow the chicken and vegetables to cool.
- Once the chicken has cooled, pick out the fleshiest pieces of chicken and shred them into bite sized pieces. Do the same with the carrots and other vegetables.
- Check the broth for seasoning. Adjust salt as per taste and add pepper powder as per taste.
- Before serving, add a helping of chicken and vegetables to a bowl and ladle hot soup over it.
- Serve the above with garlic bread or dinner rolls.