If there is one meal that is guaranteed to warm you deep to your core on a cold winter's evening, it's soup. It doesn't really matter what it is, soup nourishes us in body and mind; we seem to have this understanding that soup is good for us. And of course that is true, particularly soups that are based on stock made at home with bones and herbs.
I guess my favourite soup is one my mother used to make and it's the one I make most often during winter - beef with barley and vegetables. I love the way the barley thickens the stock and makes a hearty meal. But sometimes you don't feel like a thick soup, then the one that comes to mind is homemade chicken noodle soup. I had the remnants of the roast chicken I made for the picnic and not wanting to waste it, I popped it in a saucepan with some onion, celery, parsley and bay leaves and simmered it for two hours until the bits of flesh still attached the bones just fell off and the flavour was at its peak. After that is was just a simple matter of adding some leftover chicken meat, tasting for seasoning and adding salt and pepper. Soup done.
But what about the noodles? Well, I made them in my breadmixer and rolled them out with a rolling pin. I do have a pasta machine but for this small task, it's not worth it.
EGG NOODLES RECIPE - enough for this soup and for one lasagne
250 grams or 8 oz plain\all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 fresh eggs
enough water to make a firm dough (about ½ cup). Add half, then in small portions until consistency it right.
Add the ingredients to your breadmixer and mix on the pasta setting (about 20 minutes). If you don't have a breadmaker, mix it all by hand, add half the water, then add it in small amounts until you have the right consistency. Knead for about eight minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable.
Put the dough in a plastic bag and place it in the fridge for an hour to rest. Then, cut the dough in half - you'll have enough for a soup for four people and enough left over for two large lasagne sheets. Place the leftover dough in the same plastic bag you rested it in and store it in the freezer for another meal. Roll the dough out with a floured rolling pin until it's very thin. Cut it into short strips, or little squares that you can twist, and add them to the soup pot about 10 minutes before serving.
The noodles sink to the bottom but will rise again when they're cooked. Just before serving the soup, add some fresh, finely chopped parsley.
Chicken soup is also known as Jewish penicillin because many wonderful Jewish mummas cook chicken soup when someone in the family is ill. It's the soup you go to when you're feeling sick or when someone has the flu. It's a handy one to have in your recipe stash and the perfect meal for a cold winter's night. On the first night we ate this we had a piece of toast with it; and last night I made a small pot of milk rice which we had with canned pears. It was a delicious, frugal and simple meal.
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