Thursday, November 8, 2007

Last Night's Dinner #55: Sopas (Chicken Noodle Soup)

Ooops I lied, one more for the road...

It sounds like the weather is about to dip down to winter levels by this weekend. So what can be better than a nice hot bowl of chicken noodle soup?

This recipe is pretty flexible and the quantities can be adjusted according to your taste. Elbow pasta is traditionally used but I prefer to use small pasta shells. You can also use whole milk, half and half, evaporated milk or heavy cream - I just don't recommend 2% or skim. Again, you can adjust how much cream to add - obviously, the more the better!!

Serves 2
You'll need:
1/4 onion finely chopped
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1/4 head cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/4" rounds
1/2 stick of celery, chopped
1/4 whole red bell pepper, chopped
1 pint of half and half
2 to 3 cups of small pasta shells
1 tbs of oil
salt, patis and black pepper to taste

Homemade Broth:
1 chicken breast (skinless, bone-in)
4 to 5 cups chicken broth, low sodium
1 carrot cut in half
1/2 stick of celery
1/2 onion
3 cloves of garlic (whole and skin on)
1 tsp of kosher salt (more or less to taste)
dash of pepper

step 1. Add all of the ingredients under "Home-made Broth" in a large pot and cook on high until it boils. Once it boils, lower the heat and simmer for approx 30-40 mins. Just make sure your heat is low enough or keep the lid slightly off the pot so it doesn't boil over. Remove chicken and allow to cool. Set aside. You can get rid of the boiled veggies. Save the broth. If the broth is cloudy, go ahead and strain it through a sieve. My broth was still cloudy after I strained it, so I strained it again using a coffee filter + sieve, which did the trick. It should be nice and clear. Set aside.

step 2. Once the chicken has cooled, shred and set aside.

step 3. Heat up a tablespoon of oil and sautée onion, garlic, carrots, celery, cabbage and peppers. Add a dash of patis. Cook until onions are translucent. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes. Add broth. Taste and season accordingly - add patis, salt, pepper as needed. Boil until carrots are just about tender.

step 4. Add 2 to 3 cups of shell pasta (depending on how much pasta you want). It should take 6 to 8 minutes to cook, follow box instructions.

step 5. At this point, you can add the half and half. If you mix it in, make sure that you stir as you add the milk. You don't want it to clot up. I prefer to put the milk in the serving bowls so each person can control how much they want. I use a 50/50 milk to broth ratio. So I pour the milk in each bowl, top it with chicken and a mixture of veggies (this quickly brings the temperature of the milk up) then I scoop in some broth and mix.

I love this stuff, it reminds me of my childhood - specifically having to stay indoors during the rainy season and visiting my aunt Ruth (back in the Philippines).

1 comment:

AW said...

mmm. sopas. like chicken soup for the soul!!! it is chicken soup! well you know what i mean.