Intercontinental Chicken Soup

Brothy, buttery chicken soup is at the heart of Jewish food culture. No self respecting Jewish restaurant, or household for that matter would even consider excluding it from their menu, and some of the best I have ever had was alongside a gargantuan slab of salt beef on rye in New York.

Broth based soups, with or without noodles, from Pho to Tom Yum and Ramen are also integral to many Eastern Asian cuisines. I’m not about to give you a lecture on soups of the world though, I’m just providing a rather lengthy introduction to my chicken soup. I did actually set out to make a pretty traditional Jewish style chicken soup but got a bit carried away with five-spice, ginger, spring onions and coriander and ended making a bit of an intercontinental soup.

Adding fresh ginger and a teaspoon of five spice to the frying leeks and carrots at the base of my soup gave it a deliciously fresh perfume, not so characteristic of European soups. Similarly, the addition of rice noodles rather than the egg variety, a garnish of raw spring onions, red chili and coriander, before splashing in some soy sauce and sesame oil gave the dish a taste of the east.

Roasted chunks of chicken thigh, hearty chunks of carrot and sweetcorn and short rather than long noodles (I simply snapped up a bundle of rice noodles) harked back to the schmaltzy bowl of chickeny broth I ate in New York and gave it the feel of a Jewish chicken soup. As I was cooking it and thinking about this post, I did wonder if I was committing culinary blasphemy by creating a mish-mash of vague cuisine references, but the finished bowl was so tasty, I decided it was OK to share. Recipe after the jump…

Ingredients (makes a good 4-5 bowls full)

4 chicken thighs or equiv amount of leftover roast chicken

Half a leek

2 carrots

2 corn on the cobs

1 red chilli, finely sliced

2 spring onions finely sliced

1 handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

1 bundle of thin rice noodles

1 teaspoon of 5 spice

1 inch of ginger, grated

1 clove of garlic


1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 litres of chicken stock

Soy sauce and sesame oil to serve


Season the chicken thighs, drizzle with olive oil and roast with the garlic for 35mins. Leave to cool and pick the meat from the bones, discarding the skin and bones.

Drain the oil from the roasting tin into the bottom of a good size saucepan and fry the leeks and the carrot for 5mins. Add the ginger and five-spice and fry on a med heat for a further 5-10mins until the leeks are lightly browned and softened.

Pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Season well and add the chicken. Simmer gently for 15-20mins.

Cut the corn kernals from the main cob and throw into the pan. Snap up the rice noodles and throw in too. Simmer for 5-10mins until noodles are soft.

Divide between bowls and top with finely chopped chilli, coriander and spring onion, followed by a dash of sesame oil and soy sauce.

One Response to “Intercontinental Chicken Soup”

  1. Lizzie Says:

    I’d have thought the soup is almost solely East! It looks delicious.

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