Let's get real here! When my daughter was little both my hubby and I had full time jobs and whenever she was ill it was always a major crisis! Would we toss a coin to decide which of us was going to ring our employer to tell them we would have to work from home that day? Or would we call an understanding family member to ask them if they could help out? Getting in the kitchen to boil up some chicken bones to make stock wasn't at the top of my list of priorities!
Even though I've got more time on my hands at the minute, and I do agree that you can't beat good homemade stock, I still like to make food that's quick and easy and ready-made stocks are what I reach for when I don't have the time or the inclination (or a chicken carcass lying around) to make stock from scratch.
This Thai style chicken noodle soup, which is adapted from a recipe by the queen of concentrates - Nigella Lawson, satisfies my need for simplicity and taste. It's packed full of Asian flavours and it's delicious made with a cube or concentrate and, for non meat eaters, I think even vegetable stock could work.
Notes: The original recipe suggests adding some shredded chicken but I didn't add any to my soup and it was still gorgeous. I also used some medium egg noodles that I bought ready made in a packet but any kind of noodles could be added to this - if using dried just cook them first before adding to the soup.
Thai-style Noodle Soup
Makes 2-3 large bowls of soup or 3-4 smaller ones
1 ltr chicken stock
200g ready made noodles / 2 nests of dried noodles prepared according to the packet
200ml coconut milk
2cm piece root ginger, peeled and chopped finely
1 red chilli
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp tamarind paste
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp sugar
2 heads pak choi chopped
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1. Warm the chicken stock in a large saucepan.
2. Add all the ingredients except the pak choi, coriander and noodles - bring to a simmer.
3. Add the pak choi and simmer for 2 minutes.
4. Add the noodles and coriander - ensure the noodles are warmed through and serve.