With Christmas over, all that remains of winter is the cold...and holding out for the first signs of spring, which will probably be cold too anyway...But at least the cold provides a need for some hot and spicy dishes. Food can provide both a defense and comfort against the harshness of winter and one thing I generally opt for is a good, hot and spicy soup. Chicken noodle soup is a classic and for good reason. The inclusion of noodles make it feel like you are having a proper meal. The addition of a chili adds the necessary heat to tackle the winter chill. This soup does work without the chili, but in winter I love the cosy comfort offered by a good, spicy soup. This is a very quick recipe and can be easily reheated - in fact, this soup is delicious reheated as all the flavours have had time to combine together.
2 chicken fillets
800ml chicken stock
1 tsp finely chopped root ginger
1 red chili, sliced
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
50g wholewheat noodles
2-3 mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chopped basil
Pout the stock into a pot with the garlic, ginger, and chili. Bring to the boil and add the chicken fillets. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and leave for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pot. Slice into small pieces then return to the pot with the noodles, mushrooms, spring onion, and soy sauce.
Simmer for a further 5 minutes. Add the basil and stir.
Ladle into bowls and serve with crispy bread to really bulk this meal up.
****It is easy to make a vegetarian version of this soup. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and omit the chicken. In place of the chicken, add more mushrooms or an extra portion of noodles. Or you can include additional vegetables, such as sweetcorn - just add with the mushrooms and noodles.
****For a lighter, or carb-free version, omit the noodles. This makes a delicious, light, and spicy broth. Perfect as a starter.