There are meals that stand out in my childhood memories. Food is such a social occasion that we often link food and special memories. However for me, some of the best food memories I have as a child are of those everyday meals my mum used to make. Now that may be partially because I have a mum who is a very good cook and partially because I was also destined to be a bit of a foodie 😉
A weekend where the temperature has suddenly dipped right down and the kids are feeling a bit under the weather. I didn’t have much food in and needed a quick meal. Miss K requested eggs and soldiers (perfect and easy, this one is definitely my daughter), but I wanted something vegetable like that the J-boy would eat to go alongside it.
From nowhere the memory of this soup popped into my head. If I could I would have asked my mum to come and cook it, but she lives in Spain. So I asked her for the recipe and wham bam, in 20 minutes it was done.
SO FLIPPING GOOD.
I had anticipated there being leftovers for my lunch the next day. Nope all gone. Everyone had seconds, apart from the teething, full of cold toddler, he is excused.
Creamed corn and chicken soup
A quick and super tasty recipe that works well if you have good chicken stock.
Place sweetcorn in a food processor, blender or use a hand held blending stick. Add 2 tbsp water to loosen and blend to a mixed consisitency. You want some pieces completely creamed and other pieces in larger chunks.
Add to a saucepan with the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
Add the water along with the chicken and herbs.
Beat an egg up, turn down the heat and add the egg to the pan, stir constantly. As the egg mixes in you should see white strands forming in the soup. After a few minutes it will all be cooked in.
Now turn the heat back up and allow the soup to thicken a little (or eat it as it is).
There is something about making soup from scratch, specifically chicken soup that makes you feel better. There is research that suggests chicken soup helps with coughs and cold, thinning mucus secretions and possibly even preventing as much muscus being produced.
What I really like about it is the process of making it. The act of cooking the bones and putting all that flavour into a soup, using the parts that would otherwise get thrown away… it makes me happy. It also makes a very tasty, nutritous soup.
I often make a Roast Dinner Soup using the left over veggies (I’ll admit I cook extra just to have leftovers to make the soup) and boiling the bones in milk. It’s amazing on a cold day. This week, having cooked a chicken, I felt the need to make a noodle soup. I’m so glad I listened to my urges, as they spoke truth. A good, good, good soup.
So chicken soup really is “Good for the Soul”
Chicken Noodle Soup
A quick soup that you can make from the carcass of a roast chicken.
Roast Dinners, they are delicious…we like to have a free range chicken and plenty of yummy roasted veggies. But what about those leftovers? Personally I don’t like to waste them, so quite often we make a roast dinner soup. I must be honest, to me this is just as good as the roast dinner itself! Here it is:
Remove the meat from the chicken carcass and place the bones in a large pan, add a couple of bay leaves.
Cover with half milk and half water, simmer for 10 minutes, then strain the milk into a pan and keep the bones for stock.
Chop up any left over veggies or add more veggies in and simmer to thicken slightly. I sometimes add a little cornflour mixed with cold water if it needs thickening more, however roast potatoes help with this too!
Season and add grated nutmeg if you have any (it’s yummy!).
We’re not the most traditional family and I must admit I like that. So no roast over Christmas for us, and usually no Sunday roast either. However today, being my husbands weekend off we made the most of it and had a roast. Everytime we do this I remember how tasty it is, how much we all like it (cats included) and how it provides so many meals with just a little effort. Plus we have NO WASTE, nothing is thrown out except the packaging. I LOVE this.
We only buy free range chicken, the chicken has a nice life, the meat tastes like actual chicken and it’s value for money when you use the whole bird. We roasted one chicken with potatoes, carrots, swede, parsnip and steamed broccoli as well. Yes lots of veggies, I am a dietitian after all. I always make sure we have too much, not so we can eat seconds, but so we have leftovers to make soup. It’s amazingly simple and so good.
Once we’ve eaten I remove all the meat off the bird and have several bowl – one for some breast meat for Little Miss Tew, one for the rest of the meat for us for stir fries, soup and risotto’s, one for skin and greasy meat for the cats, one for the bones. My top tip is lock any cats out of the kitchen and put on some beautiful gloves 😉
Once I’ve made the soup I reuse the bones to make stock, probably a complete cheat but I still find I get a tasty stock. This all goes into tubs in my freezer ready for risotto’s and soups. It generally makes me feel like a good person 😉
Finally the cats get the leftover bones, which they go mad for.
Place the chicken bones in a large saucepan and cover with milk (I use a mix of semi skimmed and skimmed), add a bayleaf and simmer for 10 mins.
Strain the milk into a new pan and keep the bones for stock.
Add chopped left over veggies (roasted or steamed any will do) plus potatoes, seasoning and grated nutmeg. I love nutmeg but it is of course optional.
Add some chopped chicken, heat and serve. You can thicken with cornflour however the potatoes do this for you too.
Cover bones with water, add bay leaf, peppercorns, 1/2 onion, 1 carrot chopped and 2 sticks celery if you have them.
Simmer 10 mins.
What I LOVE about this is we buy 1 chicken, get lots of meals and have absolutely NO WASTE. Bones and skin and all are eaten. Give it a go 🙂
Freelance Dietitian specialising in helping those with Eating Disorders and a Media Spokesperson for the profession.