A Bright Chicken Noodle Soup with Pancetta, Pumpkin and Pak Choi

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How many times have I talked or written about or extolled the virtues of chicken soup? Too many and yet not often enough. It is the very best thing. Soothing, rich but not heavy, and receptive to so many things. Chicken noodle soup loves to be just itself, but is also loves spice, a little curry, and most vegetables deal very well with being here. It is fond of carbs, as we all are. I adore a noodle but some pumpkin is beautiful in here too. Soft and slippery but still firm, and full of the gorgeous flavour of the chicken broth that it has cooked in.

When I have time, I love to make my own broth. There is something so soothing about it and the results are gorgeous. Although it isn’t really a time issue as the prep is so minimal. It is more whether I have the attention to give it if I am not spinning too many other things. I coarsely chop my vegetables – carrots, onion, celery, garlic (lots of), peppercorns, a couple of bay leaves and celeriac – and put them in my pressure cooker with a couple of raw chicken carcasses (£1 at my local farmer’s market!). If I can’t find carcasses, I use half a kilogram of chicken wings – and let them all pooter in there for 45 minutes once they hit pressure.

My pressure cooker is my go to for stocks, the results are clear and intense yet bright. I make all my stocks in there now. (I bought this Fissler pressure cooker a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back since – it is worth the cash – I love making beans in here too from dried, and you know how much I love them). If you want to make your stock in a normal stock pot on the hob give it two and a half hours and make lots of it which you can freeze or bag up for the week. 

It is cold season and it is also COLD so it is the perfect time for soup of all types, especially this chicken soup. Make it and luxuriate in it. It will sort everything out, even just for a little while. Also, don’t stress about the stock if you are ill or don’t have time. I used a lovely shop bought stock for this one. (Most butchers sell homemade stocks too but the fresh ones in the supermarkets can be quite good). 

Other Essential Recipes for Chicken Soup Obsessives or Those Suffering Colds

For What Ails You: Aromatic & Hot Chicken Soup Powerhouse [Recipe]

Chicken Soup to Soothe all Ills with Garlic Butter Toasts

Life Assuring Hot and Sour Soup

Ham Hock, Watercress and Beluga Lentil Soup

Chicken Broth Congee with Soy Cured Egg Yolk,

Recipe: Passatelli in Brodo (AKA Parmesan Noodles in Wonderful Chicken Broth)

Cooking in Sabah: Two Healthy Sea Gypsy Recipes (Fish Soup & a Fish Salad)

Recipe: Chicken Broth with Prawn and Chorizo Meatballs and Herbs

A Bright Chicken Noodle Soup with Pancetta, Pumpkin and Pak Choi
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A Bright Chicken Noodle Soup with Pancetta, Pumpkin and Pak Choi


  • 75g diced pancetta or streaky bacon
  • 1 small onion, peeled cur in half and sliced finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small pumpkin, seeds removed and diced into about 1cm dice (I used 300g of delicata squash, with skin)
  • 500ml good chicken stock
  • 100g fideua noodles or broken spaghetti
  • 2 heads of pak choi, ends removed and leaves separated
  • 2 heaped tbsp creme fraiche (one per bowl)
  • finely chopped chives or garlic chives to finish (I used garlic chive flowers here which have the same flavour)
  • some mild chilli like Korean gochugaru or pul biber - to taste, I use a teaspoon
  • optional: a dollop of creme fraiche per bowl to finish
  • sea salt
  • white pepper


  • Well this is easy so let us not complicate it.
  • Fry the pancetta or bacon in its own fat for a couple minutes. Add the onion and cook for about 6 - 8 minutes until starting to soften.
  • Add the garlic and stir through, frying for a further minute - I like to use a lot of garlic, especially if I want to drive out a cold, but I love the flavour also. Use less if you must but I recommend that you don't.
  • Add the pumpkin and stir through, then add the chilli, stock and noodles. The noodles and pumpkin will take roughly the same time to cook but if you are using spaghetti add the pumpkin for about 5 minutes first.
  • When the noodles are almost done add the pak choi and allow to wilt.
  • Season to taste with sea salt and I also like white pepper here.
  • Serve with the optional creme fraiche and the chives, and if you can get them those gorgeous garlic chive flowers - I love the lick of luxury that it brings.
  • Enjoy!
  • https://eatlikeagirl.com/a-bright-chicken-noodle-soup-with-pancetta-pumpkin-and-pak-choi/



    Written by Niamh
    Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.