Summer jumped into winter with abrupt gusts of wind that made us wonder in awe, where did summer go? From T-shirt Monday to Wellies Friday there was an interlude of insane winds, half of the items in Athens that could get airborne, they did. Medicane they said, like hurricane only in the Mediterranean. Soup I said, chicken soup, comfort food, the Greek way.
Head straight to the recipe.
My apartment felt pretty much like a house docked at the edge of a cliff. Leaves and papers have gone on a mad whirlwind dance that lifted up above the streets, wind will sweep through the tiniest gaps of shut windows, doors were gently creaking on their hinges and whilst this was all very atmospheric; I even felt like being rocked to sleep on wind whisperings when you wake up it’s a whole different story. You find a metal storage cupboard leaning forward to the railing of your balcony, (thankfully it didn’t topple over), half the balcony pots ‘magically’ transferred to the other side of the balcony and leaves enough to put any leaf collection to shame.
It was a headphone on and work-work-work kind of week. The kind of days you really wouldn’t mind being swallowed by your computer screen, transmute into binary and never have to face another dead leaf again. No, winter weather doesn’t make me grumpy at all, what even made you think of this? Comfort food to the rescue.
So, chicken soup, traditional chicken soup. For most of us, chicken soup automatically turns on the light of magical cold and flu remedy. For good reason, too. It is said that chicken soup makes a congested nose breathe in again and it lightens up a heavy chest. The Greek chicken soup is the most basic of broths, its simplicity comes in as an added bonus and it truly made me cough up all that bile that have been accumulating in my doorstep in the form of dead leaves. Here is to a cheery bowl of broth: chicken soup!
Normally the chicken soup consists of two main things, the chicken and some sort of pasta. If you have ever wondered how to make chicken broth, this chicken soup pretty much spells it out for you: 1 whole good quality chicken, a few carrots and celery or leek and a bit of pasta to thicken it further, angel hair, tiny stars or rice are all very nice. Here are a few tips that can lift it up a notch: spices. Chicken is a great match with all spice, bay leaves and leeks, another nice combo is dill and star anise.
- 1 chicken
- 200 gr Angel hair pasta
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 stick of celery
- 2-3 sprigs of dill
- 1 star anise
- 1-2 lemons
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, add your chicken, onions, carrots and celery, cover and let it boil on low medium until the chicken is cooked. Don’t forget to discard any foam when it starts boiling.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot. Take the flesh off the bones and keep aside.
- Add the angel hair or pasta of choice and the dill, allow to boil for 10-15 minutes. In the last few minutes add in the lemon juice.
- Your broth is ready to serve. You can add as much chicken as you like in each bowl when serving.If you didn't add the lemon juice earlier, or if you are really keen on citrus flavours you can add some more on the table. If there is any left-over chicken – think sandwich!
So, this is the classic Greek chicken soup. There is an even barer version of just 3 ingredients – chicken, pasta or rice and a very generous helping of lemon for those in need of sore throat relief. I’m sure everyone has its own tips and favs, I just shared mine, with the classic vegetable combo for clear broth soups. Star anise makes it a tad more interesting, do you have a favourite? Let me know in the comments
In hope that none has been flown far off by crazy winds,
from Athens with love,