Tuesday, 24 April 2012
Chicken and Tarragon Soup With Ravioli
This week I've been trying to get fit. I know, don't faint with shock from the news but it's true. After years of abusing my body with every substance I could lay my hands on (well, just beer, mainly) and leading what one could definitely call a sedentary lifestyle, I decided that something needed to change - possibly as I'm nearing a significant landmark birthday (hint : It isn't 21) and developing a decidedly hypochondria's perspective on life...
So I started running. Yes, for the first time since doing PE at school, I intentionally set out to run somewhere (as opposed to chasing a bus or that time I got attacked by angry bees) and guess what? I'm still (just about) alive to tell the tale!
So what does this have to do with soup? Well, I'm one of those people for whom calories seem like witchcraft, fat and sugar content are mysteries on par with the fate of Atlantis. Whereas some people can pick up food and make an informed decision about their health and diet suitability, I'm left scratching my head and thinking "60% fat, well that's not too bad, is it?"
So I thought I'd have a go at producing a vaguely healthy soup this week, and also using my new found enthusiasm for the pasta maker. And having now made fresh pasta and then turned it into ravioli, I believe I could give Michelle Roux Jr a run for his money in the culinary stakes...
For the Broth
1.5l Chicken Stock
1 1/2 tbsp Finely Chopped Fresh Tarragon
250ml White Wine
For the Pasta
250g plain flour / pasta flour
1 Egg and 3 more egg yolks, lightly beaten
1tbsp Olive Oil
1 Egg White
For the Filling
200g Cooked Chicken
Zest of 1/2 Lemon
1tbsp Chopped Tarragon
1tbsp Chopped Flat leaf Parsley
60ml Double Cream
1. Make the pasta. I used pasta flour, which is finer than plain flour, but if you can't get it, then plain will do just fine. Sieve the flour and salt into a pile on a clean surface, then make a well in the middle. Pour in the beaten eggs and oil and start to bring the mixture together with your finger tips.
After a while, the mixture will start to come together, but if it's too dry, add some water, sparingly as you don't want to make it too wet. Once it forms a ball, need for about 5 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and a bit elastic. Then wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Run the pasta maker to make sheets, then cover them is a sprinkling of flour and set aside for the moment.
4. Heat the stock in your soup pan, then add the wine, tarragon and season to taste. Let this cook for about 10-15 minutes, so the stock infuses with the taste of the tarragon/
5. Heat a large pan of salted water. Once it's come to the boil, cook your ravioli for 10 minutes. You may have to do this in batches if you're making a lot of ravioli. I just about got away with 10 ravioli in one pan!
6. Drain the ravioli and then transfer them to the stock, cook for another 5 minutes and you are ready to serve/