Although I adore creamy chicken noodle soup, I adore variety even more. I had a piece of ham bone and I thought I’d experiment with a different kind of chicken noodle soup with it. The result is this chicken, bacon and tomato noodle soup.
It’s monsoon season in my part of the world right now and, as monsoon rains lash through the country, we find more soups and stews on the dining table. And there’s probably nothing more warming and comforting than chicken noodle soup.
It may be psychological or it may have a physiological basis. Who knows for sure? The bottomline is that the effect is the same. Personally, I’d rather have a slice of cake and cup of hot coffee. But with Speedy and Sam, soup is a cure for everything — from bad cold to foul mood. Soup (vegetarian soup, in Sam’s case) is good for the soul, as they say.
This chicken, bacon and tomato noodle soup is the kind of soup that seems to speak and call out, urging you to come closer, take a whiff and plunge the spoon in. It derives its deep red color from stewed tomatoes. It gets its rather intense aroma from oregano. The flavor of the broth is enriched with ham bone (Read: Why You Shouldn’t Throw Away Ham Bone).
- 1 ham bone
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 75 grams belly bacon finely sliced
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 1 large carrot peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 2 stalks celery cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 6 chicken thigh fillets cut into half-inch cubes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can stewed whole tomatoes
- 2 sprigs oregano
- 50 grams spaghetti broken into one-inch lengths
- grated mature cheddar cheese to garnish
Heat the butter in a pot.
Add the bacon and, over high heat, cook until lightly browned.
Add the onion, carrot and celery. Stir. Add the chicken and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over hight heat for about a minute then turn down the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables start to soften, about five minutes.
Add the stewed tomatoes, breaking them with your hands. Pour in all the juice from the can. Pour in about eight cups of water. Add the ham bone and the oregano sprigs. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer for an hour.
Taste the broth. Add more salt and pepper, as needed. Add the spaghetti. Stir. Simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove the ham bone and oregano sprigs before transferring the soup to a tureen.
To serve, ladle the chicken, bacon and tomato noodle soup into bowls and top with grated cheddar cheese.