Melissa Hemsley's Rescue Noodle Soup with Leftover Chicken

Melissa Hemsley's comforting noodle soup makes the most of store-cupboard ingredients, and is a great way of using up leftover roast chicken.

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Introduction

There’s nothing quite like a warming bowl of homemade soup to make you feel a thousand times better. If I’ve had a Sunday roast chicken, I make this on a Monday to get a great boost of vegetables in. It’s based on store cupboard and freezer ingredients like frozen peas, onion, garlic and carrots, though you could swap in anything that needs using up. You can up the amount of vegetables or noodles here, so adjust to your liking. Post-Christmas and other celebrations, this is a fantastic way to use up leftover turkey or any other leftover meats.

Serves 4
Easy
Cook time: 30 min

Ingredients

1 tbsp ghee or butter
1 large leek or onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1.2 litres vegetable stock or bone broth
1 big handful a mix of fresh herbs, like parsley and dill, leaves and stems chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried
1 bay leaf, dried or fresh
2 celery sticks, diced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 handfuls 2cm chunks of root veg like sweet potato, squash, pumpkin, potato or (in the summer) courgette
400g noodles or spaghetti, any type
1 tsp olive oil
300g mix of cabbage, rainbow chard and/or chard, stems finely chopped and leaves shredded
300g leftover shredded chicken
juice of ¼ lemon or 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 big handfuls frozen peas or sweetcorn
sea salt and black pepper
(see Flexi Swap tip for optional extras)

Instructions

In a large wide saucepan, heat the ghee or butter and fry the leek or onion over a medium heat for 8 minutes while you prep everything else. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.

Add the stock or broth, chopped parsley or dill stems, thyme, bay leaf, celery, carrot, root veg and some salt and pepper, pop the lid on and cook for 15 minutes until the carrot is almost tender.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a separate pan until almost tender (check the label for suggested timings), then drain and rinse under cold water to stop them cooking further. Toss with the olive oil to stop them clumping and set aside.

Back to your soup pan: add the chopped cabbage and chard stems, shredded chicken, lemon juice or vinegar and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the chard leaves, frozen peas or sweetcorn and cooked noodles for a final 2 minutes so that the chard wilts, the peas cook and the noodles heat through. Season to taste and serve up straight away, topped with the fresh herb leaves.

Waste not: You don’t have to use noodles here, you can add any pasta shapes you like so just use whatever odds and ends of pasta packets you have. You could even add the pasta straight into the soup to cook and save on using a second pan.

Flexi Swap: For a vegetarian version, swap the chicken for 500g roughly chopped mushrooms and a pinch of dried seaweed or seaweed salt. Sometimes I add even more garlic and a thumb of grated ginger plus 1 tsp ground turmeric for an extra boost. Try adding a tablespoon of miso or tamari just before serving or swap the herbs for coriander and mint.

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