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A twist on an old favourite - chicken noodle soup

In need of a warm bowl of something nutritious and immuno-boosting this winter? Try out Emma Bell's Chicken Miso Ramen recipe.

‘Emma Bell was only 15 years of age when she catered a large 18th birthday party for our younger daughter,’ writes Justine Tyerman. ‘The food was a huge hit. Now living and working in Auckland, Emma loves to cook. Here’s her twist on an old favourite, chicken noodle soup.’

I've always had a keen interest in cooking and love few things more than seeing people enjoy food I've prepared. I'll be honest though, writing recipes isn't my forte. I usually just throw things together with very little regard for quantities. I like to think cooking is an art; baking is a science. Which explains why you have a soup recipe in front of you rather than one for scones.

My partner Sam was sick at home at the end of last week. Nothing sinister, just your run-of-the-mill common cold, but definitely enough to call for something warm and immuno-boosting. With the air temperature getting closer and closer to zero each day that went on, it was a natural progression to move into soup territory.

I love the versatility of this broth and how easy it is to whip up. When I'm feeling particularly organised (it's a rare occasion), I have big ice cube trays that I use to freeze the broth base so it's simple to freeze and doesn't take up large amounts of space in the freezer like a normal container would. It also makes defrosting portions a lot less of a hassle.

I'm a firm believer that cooking is best when you actually enjoy the end product, so everything in my recipes is all about flexibility to suit what's in your fridge, budget and taste preference.

For vegetarian alternatives, swap out the chicken bone broth for vegetable stock. In place of the shredded chicken (or to pack more of a vege punch), lightly stir-fry your favourite vegetables in a dash of sesame oil and add to the broth.

I choose to enjoy my broth with cabbage and enoki mushrooms instead of noodles which is great as a low-carb or gluten-free alternative.

In a bind for time? Grab a rotisserie chicken instead, shred it up and add to the pot when the recipe says to add the chicken breast — you can now reduce the simmer time by 15 minutes.

Chicken Miso Ramen

Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 40 mins

INGREDIENTS:

750ml chicken bone broth (stock is fine too)

500ml boiling water

2tbsp fresh ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1tbsp miso paste

2 fresh chillis chopped

1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms

1 tbsp soy sauce

3 chicken breasts

1 pack noodles (ramen, udon or soba are fine to use)

A bag of baby spinach

Lime juice

Coriander

Method:

• Place the chicken bone broth, water, ginger, garlic, miso paste, chilli, shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce in a pot over medium heat until it reaches a slow boil.

• Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and add the chicken breasts. Simmer for 25 minutes.

• Remove the chicken from the broth, shred and then return to the pot along with the pack of noodles. Simmer for a further 5 minutes until the noodles are cooked.

• Incorporate the bag of baby spinach into the ramen.

• To serve, divide between four bowls and top with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and freshly-chopped coriander. For an extra kick, drizzle a little chilli oil or fresh chilli over the top.

Warm and immuno-boosting chicken miso ramen. Pictures by Emma and Sam
Emma Bell with a bowl of chicken miso ramen.