This is a tough one, cos most good chicken soup recipes are either closely guarded family secrets or as your mum makes them - spontaneous concoctions.
I'm more of a spontaneous chicken soup maker myself, but no matter how you make your soup or what recipe you use, a teaspoon (or more) of cumin seeds always makes your soup taste sweeter and flavoursome. A couple of tablespoons of chopped parsley never goes astray either.
My usual procedure to make chicken soup goes something like this:Ingredients
- The stock
1kg chicken curry pieces OR 1 whole small chicken (whatever you happen to have in the freezer)
1 medium sized onion quartered
A couple of bay leaves
1 dried chilli (if you like it spicy)
Cumin seeds 1-2 teaspoons
(Thyme is also good if you have it)
Water to coverMethod
- the stock
Put all stock ingredients in a pot
Add enough water to cover the chicken
Bring to the boil
Reduce heat, cover the pot with a lid and simmer on low heat for at least 45 min to an hour (the longer the better)
When you are happy with the flavour - take it off heat and strain the liquid. This will be your stock.
With the chicken - if its already chopped up you can keep it that way or you can remove the bones and just add chopped up meat to your soup later. This is a matter of personal preference - some like their soup to have bones in it, some don't.
Now you're ready to make the soup.
Ingredients - soup
1 tab butter
1tab olive oil
1 onion sliced
Vegetables of your choice - carrot, celery, beans, potato - whatever takes your fancy
A couple of tablespoons of parsley
Chicken stock + meat
Method - Fry up your onions until soft
Add all your vegetables
Cover with stock
Bring to the boil
Add the meat
Simmer for 10 15 min - or until you think the vegies are ready. (Some like their vegies crunchy)
Season with salt/ pepper/chilli to taste
Serve with crusty bread or rice.
This is only one of the ways I make chicken soup. It varies from time to time depending on the reason for making it. One time my sister needed chicken soup and she'd been to the dentist, so I pureed the meat and stock and added a bit of milk and cream to it. Chicken soup for fevers I believe needs to be a clear soupy broth with vegies.
Other times I just throw all the ingredients into the pot, simmer the stock and add the vegies at the end. It just depends.
I hope that all made sense.
Wassalaams and Good Luck!