We call this Ming and Muppet's Soup because at it's base is a poached chicken and broth that comes from a recipe I adapted from Ming Tsai, and that appears in his great cookbook Simply Ming – One Pot Meals . Ming serves his dish Chinese style, with each diner getting as piece of chicken and a cup of the broth to dip it in. The other night when Muppet was begging for some homemade chicken noodle soup, we turned to Ming's chicken dish and just took it a few steps further by adding a couple more ingredients, and serving it over pasta for an unvbelievably tasty soup.
Feel free to add or deduct veggies to your liking, and it you'd rather dish it up with grains rather than pasta, then by all means toss in some cooked wheat berries, farro, or rice. We like to cook the pasta seperate from the broth as it is much easier to not overcook it this way, and none of us are fans of limp, mushy pasta. This pays benefits when reheating any leftovers as well, because even a single reheating of a deliate pasta will turn it into sludge.
Cheers – Steve
- 1 5-6 pound chicken
- 4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 4 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 head of fennel, fronds and core removed, roughly chopped
- 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 medium onions, cut to medium dice
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 star anise
- 2 tablespoons of minced fresh ginger
- 2 quarts of low sodium chicken stock
- 3/4 cup of soy sauce or tamari
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch kale (or chard), stemmed, washed and cut into fine ribbons
- 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 8-16 ounces pasta of your choosing (Muppet loves wide egg-noodle pasta)
- Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
To poach the chicken:
- In a large dutch oven, combine all ingredients except the kale, peas and pasta together and submerge your chicken into the broth. Everything should be well covered, if not, add more water. Do not forget to salt and pepper your chicken generously, inside and out before placing in the pot.
- Cover the pot, and place it over high heat until it starts boiling, bring it down to low heat and simmer (covered) for 45 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it sit for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook until it’s done.
To make the soup:
- Remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a large cutting board (with a moat to catch juices) and let it cool. When cool enough to work with, peel the skin off the bird and cut or pull it apart, chopping it into bit-sized pieces as you go.
- Remove the bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and star anise from the broth and place the chopped chicken meat back in to keep warm.
- When ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta and cook enough to serve the folks you have on-hand, per the makers instructions for al dente pasta. Meanwhile, put the soup over medium heat and toss in the kale and peas to cook for 5 minutes or so. Check soup for final seasoning. When the pasta is cooked, spoon some into the center of each soup bowl, and ladle the soup over. Top with freshly chopped cilantro and serve.