How to cook the perfect Zesty Chicken Soup

**Preparation time:** 10 minutes
**Cooking time:** 35 minutes
**Serves two people**

Chicken soup is one of the all-time great comfort dishes. Warming, hearty, nourishing and delicious, it’s used as a home remedy for all manner of ailments across the world, and has been done so for centuries.

However, you don’t need to be ill to enjoy or see the benefit of this recipe - it’s a mild, aromatic and oriental take on a classic, packed full of fresh herbs and big, zingy flavours.

What you’ll need for the soup:

  • One litre of good chicken stock (homemade is best, but there’s nothing wrong with a store bought one)
  • Two stalks of lemongrass
  • Four small birdseye chilli peppers
  • Three long or ‘banana’ shallots
  • 50 grams of peeled and finely sliced root ginger
  • Three cloves of fresh garlic, sliced in half
  • Four tablespoons of lime juice
  • A small bunch of torn up fresh coriander
  • About 100 grams of peas or mange tout
  • 100 grams of noodles (both rice noodles and egg noodles work well for this dish)
  • 1 small red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

What you’ll need for the chicken balls:

  • 250 grams of minced or very finely chopped chicken
  • Two finely sliced spring onions
  • One clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • One birdseye chilli pepper, finely chopped
  • One tablespoon of corn flour, plus more to dust with
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt



First of all, make your broth, which will be the base of the soup. Bring your stock to a good simmer in a large pan, and add the lemongrass and one of the chillis, which you can slice in half down the middle.

Add to this one of your shallots, and all the garlic and ginger, and simmer for fifteen minutes before taking off the heat and leaving to stand while you prepare your chicken.


Add to this one of your shallots, and all the garlic and ginger, and simmer for fifteen minutes before taking off the heat and leaving to stand while you prepare your chicken.


To make the chicken balls, mix all the ingredients well in a bowl until properly combined and consistent. Roll the chicken mix in your hands - you should be able to make sixteen or so small balls, which can be lightly dusted with corn flour.


Sieve your broth or pour through a strainer, so you remove the ingredients which have been steeping in the liquid. Add to the soup base the remaining shallots, the finely chopped chillis and the lime juice. Give your lemongrass a good whack with a rolling pin to release the flavour, and chuck those back in as you bring it back to a soft simmer.


Add the chicken balls and simmer for five minutes. After this, throw in your noodles - these take about two minutes. The peas and red pepper go in for a further two minutes, and you can now season with salt and pepper to taste. A squeeze of lime juice may be needed for extra freshness.

Serve with fresh coriander scattered across the top.

Wine pairing for Zesty Chicken Soup

Soup isn’t always a great partner for wine, as many soups tend to be creamy and soft in flavour which can clash with the tannins and acids in many wines. However, this chicken noodle soup punches way above its weight with all that chilli and lime juice, lemongrass and coriander, and doesn’t have a dairy base to contend with.

As such, a great pairing for this dish is a good Sauvignon Blanc such as a Sancerre, whose acidity and length cut through all that spice and bring an extra level of freshness and satisfaction to the table.

Sauvignon Blanc works really well with any dish containing lots of fresh green herbs such as this one, its grassy qualities coming to the fore and bringing a match made in heaven.

And there you have it; the recipe for Zesty Chicken Soup and the perfect wine pairing.

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