John Kemp’s Kitchen: Babi’s Chicken Noodle Soup
These days, the sky is grey and it’s a miracle if you can still feel your fingers and toes when you get home. The solution? A nice hot bowl of your grandma’s chicken noodle soup, perhaps? Well, if your grandmother isn’t around to cure your February chills, John Kemp’s Kitchen is here to save the day! After returning from my recent trip to Ottawa, a lovely city where it’s so cold that your eyes freeze in place if you don’t blink often enough, I figured that it may be a good time to share my grandma Babi’s chicken noodle soup recipe. It was a staple of my childhood and continues to be the only thing I crave when I’m sick.
The Vegeta I’ve called for in the recipe below are a Croatian mix of dried vegetables and spices with a salt base, so no additional salt is needed. You can add this seasoning to just about anything, and believe me, it will come in handy! I usually strain the ingredients at the end, leaving a consommé to which you just add noodles, however you can also leave whatever you’d like in the broth to give it more colour and substance. Either way, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I have over the years. Stay warm, my friends, and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook at John Kemp’s Kitchen and on Instagram @johnkempskitchen!
1-2 tbsp. cooking oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 small tomato with slits cut around the edges
2 leaves green cabbage
2 small parsnips, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2-3 tbsp. Vegeta seasoning
Chicken back and neck
Egg noodles (about a 1/4 cup per serving)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. In a large saucepan or stock pot (about 4-5 litres), heat the oil. When hot, add the onions and cook until they begin to sweat (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook until it becomes aromatic.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, omitting the egg noodles. Fill with water and cook on low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, covered. If the water evaporates, don’t be afraid to add more.
3. After the 45 minutes to an hour, taste the broth. If you want a stronger broth, cook longer, but make sure it’s not cooked to the point where a sweetness develops. Once the desired flavour is achieved, strain the ingredients so that you are only left with the broth.
4. In a separate saucepan, transfer the amount of soup you plan to serve and bring it to a boil (there will most likely be too much for one sitting in this recipe). Once it has come to a boil, add the egg noodles. If you prefer your soup with many noodles (“gusto”) feel free to add more. Once the noodles are al dente, remove the soup from the heat and serve. Enjoy!