Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

I asked & 98% of you all said you wanted to see more food posts… So here is yesterday’s cheats chicken noodle soup. ⁣⁣

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It’s super simple & really you can use any ingredients you have in your fridge. (If vegetarian you could add in some chickpeas or lentils instead & use vegetable stock).⁣⁣

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You will need one large pot. ⁣⁣⁣

500grams of organic chicken ⁣⁣

Garlic ⁣⁣

Ginger ⁣⁣

Turmeric ⁣⁣

Water or Stock ⁣⁣

Bone broth powder or stock powder ⁣⁣

Vegetables ⁣⁣

Pasta ⁣

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Start by adding in some fresh chopped garlic & ginger (the more the better) to the pot & sauté with some olive oil. Next Sprinkle in a generous dash of turmeric powder & cool spice for a minute or so. ⁣⁣⁣

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Now it’s time to add in the vegetables. I only had carrots; but zucchini, onion, celery, broccoli & cabbage al work well. Sauté until there is a bit of colour on the veggies & then add in 500g chicken. (You can use breast or thigh whatever you have; I prefer thigh as it is more tender but yesterday I only had breast). ⁣⁣⁣

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Brown the meat on all sides & then fill the pot with water, a dash of apple cider vinegar & a squeeze of fresh lemon. Add in your chicken bone broth powder (or stock concentrate or homemade stock). I often make my own stock, however I love having this @nutra bone broth on hand for an easy meal. Add in any fresh herbs, I used parsley for this batch; but if your a coriander lover it works great too! ⁣⁣⁣

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Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes (longer if using chicken thigh). Add in the pasta ( I love using risoni) & frozen peas & bring back to the boil for about ten minute until the pasta is cooked. ⁣You can also add in some canned chickpeas at this stage too for some extra protein. ⁣⁣

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Then you have it… One very easy, nourishing & healing soup for cold winter days & sick husbands. ✨ Emmy Xx

Potato, Leek, Cauliflower & Spinach Soup

I am a massive soup lover. Soup is like winter’s version of a smoothie. It’s warming, mostly healthy and is basically like a giant hug from your Granny. Can you tell? I really LOVE soup.

Over the years, I’ve shared a few soup recipes, Simple Soup (aka Potato & Leek), Healing Chicken Soup, & A Simple Split Pea Soup; all which I still cook today.  Back in 2013 when I shared my first soup recipe, I described myself has having ‘a laissez-faire approach to my soup making’. Not much as changed in five years.  To be perfectly honestly my style of cooking hasn’t changed one bit over the years.. my food photography however… well would I like to think that has improved 😉

I absolutely adore Potato & Leek soup, but I have been experimenting with ways to reduce the amount of potatoes in this soup and instead adding some cauliflower/spinach. There is nothing wrong with the humble potato; but increasing the variety of vegetables within the soup just gives me the extra nutrients I need. Also a little side note, potatoes are very high in potassium, something I need to limit as I approach dialysis, so I am attempting to make the potato switch out, before dialysis starts to eliminate my carb withdrawals.

Now I have made this soup many a times in the thermomix; which does the chopping for me; but if I am being honest (shhhh don’t tell my hubby); I do still love to spend time chopping vegetables. It is kind of like my happy place. Chopping leeks always takes me back to my days living in Paris where I spent a lot of my time cooking.  Alors… here I present to you my take on Potato, Cauliflower & Leek Soup with some added baby spinach cause we can all add some more greens to our day.

What you need

2 Leeks, 1/2 Small or a 1/4 Giant Cauliflower, 4 small potatoes (you could easily use 2 large ones, I only had smallish potatoes), Butter, 1-1.5L Chicken Stock, Salt, Pepper, Herb of choice (I used coriander) and Baby Spinach.

What to do

Chop all the veggies and make sure you give the leeks a good wash; they often have bits of dirt hiding in them. Add leeks and a good knob of butter (or whatever cooking oil you like to use) to your pot and gentle cook until they are soft and translucent. Next add in your potatoes, cauliflower, herbs and chicken stock (you can also use veggie stock); and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 45mins – 1 hour. Remembering to give the soup a little stir every now and then. Add in baby spinach before serving.

Leave chunky for a hearty style or blitz in the blender/thermomix/bar mix for a silky smooth soup. I prefer a smoother soup; the blended cauliflower and potato makes it extra creamy and delicious. You can whiz the baby spinach up with all the soup or mix in extra just before serving. I topped my soup with pepper & kimchi to give a little chilli kick and drizzled over a  bit of olive oil. You could also add some goat cheese or parmesan on top or a squeeze of a fresh lemon.

If you are a visual learner… here is the visual version. #YoureWelcome

Made with love. Enjoy Xx

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Oops & Oeufs

I have a lot of thanks for Nora Ephron. Not only was Sleepless in Seattle a major catalyst for the spontaneous start of my pre-marriage bliss, but her 2009 film Julie & Julia still continues to inspire.

Julie & Julia = food, Paris, food, blogging, food, New York City & more food! What else could I possibly ask for in a film?  Both Julie Powell and Julia Child (well, the actresses who brought these fabulous women to life) certainty are influential in my cooking journey. Alors, today, I cooked my first proper poached egg.

Poached eggs are all I order when I go for my ritualistic Sunday brunch with future Hubby. Soft, poached eggs. Sometimes I branch out with museli, fruit salad or avocado on toast (that always seems to disappoint) but, I always come back to my poached eggs. I just loved them!

The question remains why I have I never really attempted to cook  these little specimens before. I don’t have an answer.

However, today with help of Julia Child I attempted to poach an egg. Although I didn’t have the vinegar like the recipe calls for, the eggs eventually seemed to poach. With my darling friend standing next to me, I cracked the egg into simmering & swirling water. Together we watched, much like a familiar scene from Julie & Julia as the egg white splattered into the pan and cooked into tiny little pieces which, was far from appetizing. But beneath this strange simmering liquid appeared a tiny poached egg. Success!  The next egg decided to rebel it’s destiny to be poached and ended up spilling on the bench, the oven, the floor and me. Oops! Four out of five ain’t that bad at all. We ended up having four delicious soft poached eggs, which we shared with simple olive bread and sautéed mushrooms.

Despite learning a new ‘skill’ today, Sunday brunch will always involve someone else cooking my oeufs pochés.

*A note on the mushrooms; they had to be cooked in two lots, as ‘mushroom must not be crowded in the pan’ or else they will not brown. Merci beaucoup Julie and Julia. In no specific order. 

The 4pm Dinner

This afternoon I attempted to make a late lunch/early dinner. To my knowledge there is no brunch equivalent of combining these two meals. Dunch or Linner is not appealing. Even linguistically challenged people like myself can recognise that these are not words that will take off.

So, to the outside world it would appear that my fiancé and I were eating a 4pm dinner. Traditionally, ‘the 4pm dinner’ is the time dinner is served in nursing homes and hospitals. Although neither old or sick there is something pleasing about a long graze over a late lunch which spills into the evening.

In an effort to eat more fish, as prescribed by my naturopath I decided to pick a Red Emperor fillet. This is a gorgeous looking fish; white flesh and an almost coral/crimson skin.  What attracted me to the fish was not only its appearance but also the fact I thought it was locally caught. Healthy and good for the environment!  From my thorough research, ahem googling, it would seem Red Emperor is a reef fish from North Queensland; which makes me question the phrase ‘locally caught’. Environmental conversations aside, the meal was a standout success.

To the home cook; tonight we ate fish, chips and green vegetables. I could also write; tonight we ate Red Emperor with roast  potato chips and a side of greens. Or I could trump all the above descriptions a la carte style. Tonight we ate…

Red Emperor en papillote; crusted in olive bread, on a bed of Spinacia oleracea…(an edible flowing plant aka Baby Spinach), with twice cooked potatoes and a side of truffle oil infused greens.

I adore cooking my fish en papillote. Although I am unsure as to the exact cooking times, it seems you can not over cook fish when you place it in a paper parcel. The fish is steamed in these tiny paper parcels which doubles as being healthy but also deliciously moist. Having no bread crumbs in the house, I processed yesterdays sourdough olive bread and then grilled this in the oven to imitate the texture of store bought breadcrumbs. Mixed into the breadcrumbs; fennel, curly and flat leafed parsley, courtesy of our herb garden.  Our fish fillets were dusted in the breadcrumbs, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and the final touch; lemon and garlic bien sur! All of this was wrapped into a paper parcel and baked, for about 20 minutes. At 20 mintues I opened the parcels slightly, spilled some verjuice (a recent discovery) over the fish and continued cooking for a few minutes. The green vegetables were steamed and truffle oil added before serving. And those twice cooked potatoes; a little secret from my future mother-in-law, were the perfect combination of crispy and creamy. A insanely succulent potato chip.

I would love to have  a Nigella moment and sneak into the kitchen tonight in my dressing gown for a midnight snack.  Unfortunately there are no leftovers, which in my books means our late lunch/early dinner equals a success.

Note to my new blogger self, must explore the use of comma verse semi-colon.