Chicken Soup with Homemade Spinach Egg Noodles and Parsnip and Carrot Noodles
Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 45 minutes Resting and Drying Time: 1 hour 15 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour
This soup is a fun play on classic chicken soup. I’m not a big fan of food gizmos, but my 16-year-old daughter, a five-day vegan, wanted this spiralizer for her birthday. It’s kind of a mixed bag. The plus? Spiralizing does make some awesome-looking, quick-cooking, nutrient-rich vegetables. That’s a huge plus. The not-so-plus? It takes pressure to push those vegetables through the machine, and it’s not kid-friendly in any manner—it has sharp blades that are too easy to touch. In my house, this is no longer an issue, but it might be in yours. For us, this recipe looked so much better with the spiralized noodles and the vegetables cooked evenly and exactingly. One thing I learned: the softer vegetables, like summer squashes, work best. If you live in a warm climate and it’s summer, try summer squash, zucchini, and waxy potatoes as your vegetables, or in the fall try sweet potato, parsnip, and butternut squash. I created this dish for my fantasy meal with Rashida Jones, so it leans heavily toward an Ashkenazi Jewish chicken soup, perhaps like her maternal grandmother might have made, but this is a flexible recipe! I designed it for improvising with ease (she is an actress after all!) and BTW, this recipe will work just fine without a spiralizer—it won'y be quite the same, mind you, but you can simply cut the vegetable into very, very thin batons.
Spinach Egg Noodles
4 cups spinach, trimmed, washed and patted dry
2 cups (260 grams) unbleached, all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon truffle salt
2½ tablespoons grapeseed or any mild-flavored oil
1 egg yolk
Chicken Soup with Spiralized Vegetable “Noodles”
6 cups The Weiser Kitchen’s Chicken Soup or the very best, most delicious chicken soup you can make or find (see Kitchen Tips)
4 chicken thighs, skin removed
2 large or 3 medium parsnips, peeled and trimmed
1 large sweet potato, peeled
4 carrots (multicolored, preferred), peeled and trimmed
2 leeks, cleaned and cut into 2-inch julienne strips (see Kitchen Tips)
Fronds of ¼ bunch fresh dill
Leaves of ½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Prepare the noodles: Heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the spinach, stir to coat, cover, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until it is completely softened and has released its liquid. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl. When the spinach has cooked, scoop it and its collected liquid into the strainer. When it is cool enough to handle, squeeze the spinach to get all the liquid out. Set aside the liquid for use in this recipe. Reserve the spinach for another use.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and pulse to combine. Add the spinach liquid, eggs, and egg yolk and process until just combined into a raggedy ball. Transfer the dough onto a work surface and knead for 2 to 3 minutes until it resists kneading. Place the ball on large sheet of plastic wrap and cover well. Set aside for 45 minutes to 1 hour to relax the gluten.
- Meanwhile, bring the soup to a boil in a large saucepan set over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add the chicken, cover, and cook for 40 minutes, or until the thighs are just cooked through and no longer deep pink inside. Don’t allow the soup to come back to a boil (you are poaching the chicken, and it will fall apart and/or toughen if you poach at a high temperature; in addition, you will be cooking the chicken a bit more later and you don’t want to overcook it—you want moist chicken). When the chicken is cooked, use tongs or a slotted spoon or kitchen spider to transfer it into a small casserole dish or a shallow bowl, and cover with foil. When it is cool enough to handle, cut or tear the meat into 2-inch (or smaller) strips. Discard the bones and gristle. Return the meat to the casserole dish, cover, and set aside. Return the soup to the heat, cover, and simmer until you are ready to add the fixin’s.
- When the dough has rested, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour a rolling pin and work surface, place the dough onto it, and roll to a thickness of 1/16th of an inch. Alternatively, if you have a pasta maker or a stand mixer with a pasta attachment, use it now! If you are working by hand, with a sharp knife, cut the rolled dough into rough ⅛-inch by 2-inch strands. If you have a pasta maker or attachment, use the fettuccine cutter and then cut the resulting pieces into 2-inch long strands. Arrange the pasta on the prepared a baking sheet, making sure none of the strands are touching one another. Dry for 10 to 15 minutes.
- While the pasta is drying, cut the vegetables: With the spiralizer, spiralize the parsnips, sweet potato, carrots, and leeks, and cut the spirals into 2-inch strips, or if you do not have a spiralizer, cut the vegetables into ⅛- to 1/16th-inch julienne strips that are 2 inches long.
- Add the vegetables, the pasta, chicken, and any accumulated juices to the soup, stir well, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the pasta and vegetables are al dente.
- Add the chopped dill and parsley, stir, and serve immediately.
- Use real chicken soup for this recipe, not just stock or broth.
- If you haven’t cooked with leeks before, you need to know a few things: they’re delicious, but they absorb an amazing amount of soil as they grow, so you’ll need to wash them extremely well. First, trim off the tough outer leaves. Then, place the leek on a work surface, hold it by the root end and, with a sharp knife, slice lengthwise, starting about an inch from the root and working your way down the leaves (keeping the root end intact for the moment). Roll the leek over about half a turn, and slice again, so that the once tightly wound leaves hang in big strands from the root end. Wash well under running water, making sure to get in between each strand. When you are satisfied that all the dirt is removed, you can cut off the root end, trim any remaining tough green leaves and soak, slice or chop as the recipe requires.