It’s summer in Australia, but today in Melbourne, we have a lot of rains and it’s cold… maximum is only around 18°C.

Earlier in the week I planned to make a summer salad with rice noodle and thai dressing for tonight, but I didn’t feel like it in this kind of weather. Plus, Iggy is sick, he has a throat infection. So I thought I’d make something else. What is good for a cold night and to comfort the sick husband? Nothing better than a humble and warming chicken soup, I reckon.

I remember I read a basic chicken soup recipe in one of Donna Hay magazines I’ve got. I went to my Donna Hay magazines stack and found the recipe. It’s a simple dish to make and I already got most of the ingredients, except the chicken. Just need to quickly dash to Woolworths to buy a chicken.

Chicken soup

(from Donna Hay magazine, Jun/Jul 2009 issue 45)

(serves 6)

Chicken stock:

  • 1 x 1.5 kg whole chicken
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cm knob of ginger, chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2.5 litres water or enough to cover

For the soup:

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup risoni
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, to serve

Ingredients for chicken soup

Step 1. To make the chicken stock, place the chicken, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, ginger, bay leaves, peppercorns and water in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through.

Ingredients for the chicken stock

Step 2. Use a large metal spoon to occasionally skim the foam from the surface.

Chicken stock after 1 hour cooking

Step 3. Remove the chicken from the stock and allow to cool slightly. Remove the skin and discard. Shred the chicken meat from the bones.

Shredded chicken meat and vege for the soup

Step 4. Strain the stock, discarding vegetables. Return the stock to the pan with the celery, carrot, risoni, shredded chicken and salt and pepper. Cook over high heat for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Top with parsley to serve.

Chicken soup