mum's restorative chicken soup

We have almost made it through this dreadful winter! And when you step outside now compared to even a few days ago, you can really feel and hear the difference. The winds are no longer so icy and the birds have started singing, albeit ever so quietly. 

However, it is still damn cold! And that tedious little niggle in the throat just keeps returning, for maybe the third time this winter! If you're feeling similarly, then this soup is magic! It will stop a cold in it's tracks. Our mother made it for us whenever we were sick, and to this day, it is the one thing that makes being ill bearable, if not even a little bit enjoyable (?!). 

Super easy and so restorative! 

xx Sophie & Xenia. 



1 whole chicken (approx 1.5 kg - 2 kg)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 whole allspice berries
1 clove
1 tsp mixed peppercorns
1 bay leaf
4 small onions (quartered) 
1 head of garlic, 1 cm of the top cut off
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and quartered
500 g thick egg noodles (pappardelle)
2 unwaxed lemons (one cut into thick slices, one quartered) 
1 bunch fresh mint
1 tbsp dried mint (spearmint) - plus more to taste


1. Trim the chicken of excess fat and set aside. Add the oil to a large pot on medium heat (the pot must be large enough to hold the entire chicken). Throw in the allspice, peppercorns, clove, garlic, onions and ginger and fry for a couple of minutes until fragrant.

2. Cover with enough water to later submerge the chicken in water and allow to come to a simmer. Add the chicken, bring back to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Once the water is clear, turn the heat down to low, cover and leave to cook for around 1-2 hours, until the meat is tender and the chicken is falling off the bone. 

3. Once you're happy with the tenderness of the meat, remove the chicken from the broth. Add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions. After 5 minutes or so, add the quartered lemon and 1 tbsp of dried mint. Adjust and check

4. In the meantime, remove the meat from the bone (discarding the skin) and return the meat to the broth for the last few minutes of cooking. Discard the head of garlic and the bay leaf. 

5. Serve the soup with fresh lemon slices, and a generous sprinkle of fresh mint. And then just let this baby do it's thing... So healing! Literally sunshine in a bowl!