Persian Chicken Noodle Soup

Image fro Girl and The Kitchen
One day a friend shared a link to a great soup recipe on a website called Girl and The Kitchen. In exploring other recipes offered, I found this unusual chicken soup and tucked it away to try in the future.  The future is tonight.

I am visiting my daughter and son-in-law for 2 weeks to help with the new baby.  As her husband is now back at work, Glen and I are there to do baby duty while our daughter takes a nap, a shower, does laundry or runs and errand.  I have also committed to making dinner most nights.

Spending time with my first grand baby is my #1 priority, so the dishes I'm cooking are for the most part quick and simple.  My son-in-law is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying new spices or flavours which opened the door for me to explore a few like this one that I've been wanting to try.

Most here is standard. The surprise comes with the seasonings.  Ground sumac according to what I've been reading is used quite a bit in Persian foods.  No idea if this is true or not, but just passing on what I've come across. It's not found in your standard grocery story unless you are very lucky, so you'll have to find a local source or perhaps order online.  We have a small international shop near us that stocks all these unusual spices, so I picked it up easily and just brought enough with me in a small ziploc bag.

I made a few changes in the preparation which I also note below.  I precooked the onion and garlic in a little olive oil. I just like the flavour and texture better when those ingredients have been sauteed first.  The other change I highly recommend is not cooking the pasta in the soup.  You can do this if you are going to eat it all in one sitting, but if you are saving leftovers it gets mushy and soaks up a lot of the broth. Also this soup isn't over full of broth, almost a stew, and you'll soak up a lot of what is there.

The best option is to cook pasta (or rice or quinoa, etc) separately according to package directions and then add the the hot bowls of soup just before serving. The pasta will need to be tossed with a tiny bit of oil after cooking to keep it from sticking together.  Store leftover soup and pasta separately.

This soup was a hit.  Still a nice chicken soup offering, but the turmeric and sumac added a subtle twist.  I also felt the addition of fresh cilantro, parsley and tomato at the end - only reheat, not cook - added a great nutritional boost as well as a little zip.   I served this with crust rolls split open, brushed with a flavoured olive oil and toasted in the broiler. They were great to dip in the soup as they didn't fall apart.


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Persian Chicken Noodle Soup
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients -

8 C          Chicken broth or stock 
2 C          Cooked chicken breast shredded (or add 2 raw chicken breast with the veggies and shred when soup is done)
1              Large onion chopped into small cubes
5              Medium carrots peeled and sliced into half moons
1              Turnip peeled and chopped into small cubes
4              Medium Yukon Gold potatoes
3              Garlic cloves roughly chopped (could also mince or press)
2              Tomatoes chopped into small cubes
10            Chives finely sliced
1 C          Cilantro roughly chopped
1 C          Parsley roughly chopped
1/2 tsp     Turmeric
2 tsp        Ground sumac (specialty store item)
4 oz         Angel hair pasta (couldn't find so subbed Spaghettini)
salt and pepper to taste
red chilli flakes optional
limes for garnish optional
extra chopped cilantro parsley and chives for garnish.

Instructions (Check notes below!) -

Place the chicken broth into a large pot and bring to a boil.  While the soup is coming up to a boil, peel and chop all your veggies. (NOTE - while the original recipe adds the onion and garlic to the hot broth here, I always prefer to saute them in a little olive oil first, so that's what I did). Add the onions, carrots, turnips, garlic and potatoes to the soup once it is on a simmer. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Add turmeric, sumac, tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, chives, shredded chicken and angel hair pasta. (NOTE - if you cook the pasta in the soup, you have to eat it all as it doesn't store well. So I cook mine separately and toss with a little olive oil to keep from sticking, then add to the individual bowls of soup just before serving). Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper and red chili flakes if necessary. Serve with extra chives,cilantro, parsley and limes.