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.