Awell-made chicken soup is the absolute crowning glory for me when I think of warming food. And by warming, I don’t just mean the temperature of the soup. I mean the dedication in the preparation that you feel with every spoonful. I think of rainy days on the couch, when my siblings and I would happily curl up under the covers and virtually soak up the television program with square eyes while the treetops leaned back and forth outside. I think of days when I lay sickly in bed and was patiently nursed up, spoon by spoon. Moreover, I think of the work such a soul warmer does; think of my mother separating even the smallest piece of chicken meat from the bone with extreme precision and dedication, and setting it aside for soup: With calm and respect for the animal.
Classic chicken soup with chickpeas and probably the smallest noodles in the world
Making your own chicken soup is not a quick endeavor, but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to prepare. Basically, it’s really super simple. You need to put the soup chicken in the pot and cover it with plenty of water. While it simmers in the pot for a bit first and you skim the foam off of it every now and then, you can take care of the spices and soup vegetables. One half of the vegetables comes directly coarsely chopped into the pot and gives the broth together with the chicken and the spices its flavor. The other half is for the refinement at the very end.
I always like to roast the spices briefly so that they can develop their full aroma. Then it goes off with it in the pot. You can put coarse spices in a tea filter and then tie it with some kitchen twine. This way you don’t have to search for the spices in the chicken soup and can dispose of them directly with the bag. I like to use bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, allspice and cinnamon sticks – just like my mother used to.
Then, after everything has simmered away for a good 1.5 hours, it’s time to take out the chicken and really use all of it, except for the bones. This is work! You have to put in the time and you can’t be too shy to get your hands greasy. Larger pieces of meat are cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside next to the chopped vegetables, chickpeas and pearl couscous.
Homemade is simply the best
In the past, particularly juicy pieces never made it into the pot. Our mother always gave us these directly as a taste during preparation – directly from her hand into our mouths. For me, that was always a little firework in my heart that gave me love and security. But when I think back on it, I also feel how much appreciation she had for the animal.
Once everything is prepared and ready, the chicken soup is completed: Chicken pieces, finely diced vegetables and perlcouscous are simply added to the freshly made chicken broth and briefly boiled again until everything is nice and hot and the perlcouscous is cooked. By the way, you don’t have to use the entire broth for this. Just fill the unused amount and freeze it or store it in a sterile canning jar, then you always have homemade broth for a soup on stock.
By the way, please don’t be put off by the pearl couscous. I know you can’t buy it everywhere. Alternatively, you can use shell noodles or other small pasta. Because in case you didn’t know, couscous is actually made like pasta. This is especially noticeable with pearl couscous. I personally love the texture that perlcous gives to chicken soup. But with or without perlcouscous: a homemade chicken soup is simply the crowning glory – bon appétit!
Recipe for chicken soup with chickpeas and pearl couscous
- 1 Soup chicken (1.5 kg)
- 3 l Water
- 1 Onion
- 1 small piece of ginger (10 g)
- 4 Cloves
- 2 Allspice seeds
- 2 Cardamom pods
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 1 Bunch greens
- 150 g Pearl couscous (alternatively small shell pasta)
- 265 g cooked chickpeas
- 10 g Parsley
- Wash and drain soup chicken and place in a large pot.
- Pour pot with cold water and bring to a boil.
- Cook soup chicken for about 10 minutes, skimming off foam with a skimmer.
- Wash greens, cut half into rough pieces, peel the other half and cut into small cubes.
- Onion and ginger also wash and cut into coarse pieces.
- Roast the spices briefly in a pan without fat until the aroma develops. If you like, you can also roast onion and ginger.
- Add coarse vegetable pieces and spices to the soup and simmer over medium heat for about 1.5 hours.
- Remove chicken from soup and pour broth through a sieve.
- Pluck chicken from bones and cut large pieces into small pieces.
- Return broth and chicken to pot. Add vegetable cubes and pearl couscous and simmer for another 10-15 minutes over medium heat.
- Drain the chickpeas and stir into the soup.
- Chicken soup with chickpeas and pearl couscous garnish with a little chopped parsley.