Friday, November 9, 2012

Chicken and Elbow Pasta Soup


When I was a child living in Vietnam I did not know about pasta.  It was not something we eat on a regular basis.  Once my mother made elbow pasta soup for our family.  My memory of food is very strong even at a young age.  I must have been about 5 or 6 years old and I vividly remember when I ate my first pasta.  I thought it had a strange texture but it was very tasty.  I think we called the elbow pasta "grubs" since it looked like grubs!  Maybe I should have called this Chicken and Grub Soup!!

When you make your own soup it will taste a lot better and you can control the amount of sodium that goes into it.  When you buy a prepared soup, even one that has low sodium, it can still contain a lot of salt.  

1 recipe of Chicken Stock
1 T fish sauce
1/2 C- 3/4 C small elbow pasta
1 bunch of cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 C any dried sea vegetable, washed, soaked for 30 minutes, drained (optional)
1 chopped scallion

Method:

1) Dice and chop all the vegetables (1 onion, 2 celery sticks, 4 carrots, 2 russet potatoes, 2 scallions, and 1 bunch of cilantro stem) and add to the pot prior to making the stock.
2) Cook the stock according to the Chicken Stock post.
3) Remove the chicken and shred or dice the chicken meat and return it to the pot.
3) For the last 12-15 minutes of cooking add pasta, chopped cilantro leaves, sea vegetable and fish sauce.
4) Serve the soup in a bowl and sprinkle with a little chopped scallion.

girl in pink I
girl in pink II
girl in pink III
*If interested you can add 1/4 cup of dried sea vegetable to the pot or just add a little to each serving portion. You can add 1 tablespoon of dried sea vegetable to 3 cups of the soup. Make sure to wash and soak the sea vegetable for about 30 minutes, drain then add to the soup.  
*Girl in pink I, II, and III were a set of photos that I took when I was sitting in the living room talking to my grandmother one day. I was fascinated by this child playing in the warm rain and then I realized the reason. As a child I also played in the rain. Sometimes I played by myself, sometimes with my little friends.  As kids we loved the warm tropical rain. We would play all day outside until our parents or an adult relative made us go inside. As I watched this little girl in pink it brought back some very good memories of my own childhood on that very spot (on Highway 1)!!

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