Yes, it’s true, Polish chicken noodle soup IS Polish penicillin. Make it because it’s warming, it’s comforting, it awakens the appetite, it’s good for young fussy eaters, it’s good for anyone who is unwell and it’s delicious when you are feeling happy or like me today with a case of the Sunday Blues. We call it Rosół- that’s pronounced ro-soow.
This recipe is my version of chicken noodle soup that I make for my family or friends; my mum makes her version, my dad made his, my grandmas made theirs and my son makes his own. My dad’s golden rule was that it has to be eaten a soon as its ready and can’t be reheated. My mum’s rule was that she cooked it (with loads of sweet carrots) before I arrived with her grandson so that she could give it to him for his mid morning meal… after I had finally left them alone.
This recipe is my version that is perfect for taking over to a friend or relative who needs…some chicken noodle soup. Its full of vitamins, micro nutrients from the vegetables and the chicken bones and chicken liver but it just tastes light and savoury and sweet. It’s umami on a spoon. I can only get all the right ingredients for myself from the Polish Shop in Streatham. But as almost every High Street in the UK has a Polski Sklep, I will point you in the right direction so that you can get the right stuff too!
Ok here goes:
In the veg area of the Polski Sklep find a bundle of vegetables called WLOSZCZYZNA (V-WOZH-CHEEZNA)
At the meat counter let them know you are buying chicken and ingredients for RO-SOOW and you will get exactly the right ingredients. Half a large chicken: these used to be called boilers in England, chicken gizzards and chicken liver, if they have chicken necks, just take those too!
Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
Half a large chicken (bones included and don’t remove any fat)
1 small washed wloszczyzna bundle
1 large Spanish sweet onion or 2 large shallots, peeled and whole
150 grams chicken livers, washed
150 grams chicken gizzards, washed
2 Large handfuls of egg vermicelli noodles
1-2 carrots finely diced
Half teaspoon of peppercorns
Salt to taste
OR Optional: half a Knorr stock cube
For the soup – Large pasta saucepan with lid or a large saucepan and a slotted spoon
For the noodles – Small saucepan and a sieve
Vegetables and herbs – Sharp knife and chopping board
For taking to a friend or family:
4 small bowls
A large glass jug, or an earthenware bowl
For serving at home:
OK Let’s Do it:
In a large saucepan of cold water boil up the half chicken, gizzards and liver. I use my pasta saucepan for rosol as this makes it easy to lift out all of the meat and veg out of the cooked soup at the end. Take this to a rolling boil and skim off the brown foam until it all looks clear. Add the onion or shallots, peppercorns, whole carrots, parsnip and chunk of celeriac.
Simmer for half an hour.
Add most of the bunch of flat leaf parsley, including the stalks. Carry on simmering for another 30-40 minutes
In the meantime, add 2 handfuls of egg vermicelli noddles to a small saucepan half full with boiling water. Boil for 2-4 minutes, strain and immediately cool down by running cold water over them. Drain and then set aside in a small dish.
Check the flavour of the soup and add salt to taste, sometimes I add half a Knorr chicken stock cube but that is optional. If you don’t have Knorr, don’t bother.
Chop the flat leaf parsley leaves and put into a small bowl.
By now the chicken soup should look clear and golden, smell and taste good. The meat should be falling off the bones and all vegetables very soft but not falling apart.
Remove all the ingredients, if you are using a pasta pan just lift the strainer out and let it drain, otherwise lift out the meat and vegetables carefully with a slotted spoon and put to one side.
Keep the remaining broth on a low heat, add the diced raw carrot and allow to cook. When the carcass has cooled, pick off the meat and place into a small serving bowl. When cooked, strain the chopped carrot and add to a bowl. If you like extra vegetables, dice one of the cooked carrots and a parsnip for serving as well.
Arrange the cold ingredients: noodles, diced carrots, chicken meat pieces, raw but chopped flat leaf parsley in separate bowls and cover with cling film or lids.
Pour the cold chicken soup into a jug and cover with a lid or cling film and you’re ready to go…
Heat the soup to almost boiling. In soup plates or bowls spoon some noodles, chicken meat and carrots. Pour the hot soup over, sprinkle with flat leaf parsley
When people are in pain or unwell the thing that makes all the difference is human kindness.