Whenever any of us are feeling a bit under the weather, there is nothing more comforting that a warm bowl of chicken soup. This was me a few weekends ago, I had a cold, and was feeling very sorry for myself, so my husband made a pot of chicken soup and very good it was too!
This recipe is an old family recipe, it’s how my maternal, Lithuanian grandmother made it, and it was one of my favourites as a child. I have fond memories of going to her house and smelling the soup cooking on the stove!
We make our chicken soup in a pressure cooker – cooking a whole chicken (which this recipe uses) is a lot quicker in this type of pot, but if you haven’t got one, don’t worry! You can easily cook it in a regular saucepan, and I’ve also cooked it in a slow cooker.
You can also use chicken pieces instead of a whole chicken if you wish – but make sure you cook the bird with the bones as it is what gives the soup a lovely deep flavour. Plus, all the goodness is in the bones, and this soup is a good pick-me up meal if you’re feeling poorly.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour50 minutes
I cook my chicken soup in a pressure cooker, but you can use a regular pan - just ensure you boil until the chicken is cooked all the way through.
1 whole chicken (about 1.5kg)
6 tomatoes, halved
3 medium white onions, peeled and quartered
6 dried bay leaves
water to cover
chicken stock cubes (optional)
200g small pasta - shells, macaroni, or similar
Place the whole chicken, tomatoes, onions and bay leaves into a pressure cooker.
Cover with water to about an inch from the top of the pan.
Bring to the boil then place the lid on to pressure cook for 45 - 60 mins - it will depend on your individual cooker, and how big your chicken is!
When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and set to one side. Sieve the other ingredients into a bowl, saving, of course, the soup! The onions, tomato and bay leaves can be discarded.
Return the liquid to the pot - you may need to add more water - if you do, add boiling water from the kettle to keep the temperature up. You may find you need to add either a stock cube or two or salt to add more flavour now that you've diluted it. This is all down to personal taste.
Add the pasta and cook for 10 - 20 minutes, depending on the type you have used.
Meanwhile, remove the chicken meat from the bones and shred. We serve the chicken separately so we can add as much as we like - you could also add it to the soup if you wish.