Protoyiahni - Tomato Chicken Noodle Soup
Is there any recipe more comforting than chicken noodle soup? This Greek recipe for a global classic is rooted in the cooking of Messinia, land of plenty in the southern Peloponnese.
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin Greek olive oil, plus more for garnish
- 1 large red onion chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 6 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 boiling chicken about 3-/2 pounds (1.6 kg), cleaned
- 4 cups (660 g) chopped canned tomatoes and their juices
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 or 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 3 or 4 fresh oregano sprigs
- 4 allspice berries
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 heaping tablespoon Greek honey
- 1 pound (450 g) Greek hilopites (egg noodles) or other egg noodles
- Grated myzithra or other hard sheep's-milk grating cheese for serving
- In a large deep pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic.
- Add the chicken, tomatoes with their juices, bay leaf, thyme, oregano, and allspice to the pot. Add water to cover the chicken by 3 inches (7. 5 cm). Bring to a boil, season generously with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the chicken is falling off the bone, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Using kitchen tongs or a slotted spoon, carefully remove the chicken from the pot and transfer it to a bowl. Let cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, discarding the bones, and shred or chop the meat. Discard the skin, if desired.
- Remove the herb sprigs, bay leaf, and allspice from the pot. Add enough water to the pot to make 3 quarts (3 L) of liquid total. Stir in the tomato paste and honey. Add the noodles and bring the liquid to a boil. Cook according to the package directions.
- Stir the shredded chicken into the soup. Serve in soup bowls, garnished with a generous grating of cheese and additional olive oil, if desired.