So you want to eat healthy and affordable lunches, that don’t require time preparing them in the morning, or that don’t go soggy when prepared the night (or week) before? You want to warm up with a hot, nutritious lunch, and be the envy of your colleagues? This recipe, my friends, is going to change your life.
The vermicelli noodles will soften and become ‘cooked’ simply by being steeped in hot liquid, though please note, the julienned vegetables will retain some texture or crunch (that’s how I like it!) You can use any vegetables/ greens/ herbs you are harvesting from the garden, though some may need to be finely grated, or even pre-steamed, rather than just julienned. Experiment and find your favourite combinations!
If making your own broth (or stock) seems too tricky, or you don’t have anywhere to heat it up at work, you can check out my ‘Just Add Boiling Water’ Noodle Soup in a Jar recipe.
‘add hot broth’ Noodle Soup in a Jar
5 serves (1 litre jars)
- 5 large jars of 1000mls capacity – use good quality jars, i.e. preserving jars are able to handle changes in temperature quite well, I use no. 31 Fowlers Vacola jars with their no. 4 green Snap On lids
- 5 medium jars of 600ml capacity – use good quality jars, i.e. preserving jars are able to handle changes in temperature quite well, I use no. 20 Fowlers Vacola jars with their no. 3 green Snap On lids
For the broth & chicken meat
- 1 whole chicken (free range, organic if you can afford it)
- 6 litres filtered water
- 1 small knob of ginger 5cm x 5cm (about 3 tbsp, once finely grated)
- 1 to 2 lemongrass stalks (about 2 tbsp lemongrass, once finely grated)
- 1 small root of turmeric (about 1 tbsp, once finely grated) or 2 tsp ground dried turmeric
- 5 tbsp gluten free tamari
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp black pepper corns
- 1 to 2 chillies, sliced
- 2 tsp Garlic Infused olive oil
- 4 tsp Roast Onion infused olive oil
- 2 tbsp. vinegar (white or apple cider)
- 5 kefir lime leaves (fresh or dried)
- 10 curry leaves (fresh or dried)
- 1 bunch coriander leaves and stems, washed (or 2 tsp ground coriander)
Fresh ingredients (heavier/ moister)
- 1 large carrot
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 red capsicum
Fresh ingredients (lighter/ drier)
- 250gm uncooked vermicelli noodles, I use a pack with has individual sections (5 in a 250gm pack)
- 2 1/2 cups baby spinach or chopped greens
- 1/2 bunch fresh coriander leaves
- 2 1/2 cups bean sprouts
- 1 lime
Protein (separate container)
- About 2 to 3 cups of cooked roasted chicken meat (about 1/2 cup of protein per serve)
For the protein
- Roast the chicken. Once cool, remove meat from bones. Chop and put the roast chicken meat into 5 small lidded containers. Store in the fridge, or freeze. (I store 2 days worth in the fridge, then freeze the rest).
- Grate the ginger, turmeric & lemongrass, using a 2mm kitchen rasp
- Put chicken bones and leftover meat into a large stock pot, with filtered water
- Add grated ginger, turmeric and lemongrass, plus all flavourings, and vinegar (to draw minerals out of bones)
- Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for several hours, until you have about 2.5 to 3 litres of broth.
- Strain broth. Discard bones etc. Test and add more salt, if required. Allow to cool.
- Divide the broth into 5 portions of about 500ml in individual jars. Store all jars in fridge for up to a week, or they can be frozen. Please note, the no. 3 Snap On lids are not airtight on all no. 20 jars (I have many second hand jars of varying vintage), so my husband takes his stock/ bone broth to work frozen, so it won’t spill, plus it doesn’t require trying to squeeze his lunch into the work fridge.
Prepare fresh ingredients
- Grate, julienne or finely dice the vegetables. Divide the vegetables between 5 large jars (I make 5 small piles of each vegetable, so I know they are kind of evenly divided before adding to the jar). Add the fresh ingredients which are heavier & wetter into the jars first. Then add the uncooked noodles, and the lighter/ dryer ingredients on top.
- Seal each jar, store in the fridge.
To serve, remove lime wedge. Heat chicken meat, add to jar. Heat jar of broth until piping hot, and pour carefully into the jar of noodles, vegetables and meat. Cover loosely with lid. Allow to steep for 5 to 10 minutes, until noodles are soft and translucent. Squeeze the juice from lime wedge in & eat!
- I use a pack of vermicelli noodles which has individual sections (5 in a 250gm pack) because cutting vermicelli noodles to fit is really hard! You could also try noodles that require pre-cooking, and will heat up with the stock/ boiling water
- You could also try Bormioli Rocco Fido Jars, with flip top lids.
- If you heat the broth, pour over the noodles and steep for 5 minutes, without the noodles starting to turn translucent, you may need to heat the jar of soup (in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes) to expedite the process. If your jar or container has any metal on it, don’t microwave that!
- You can use whatever seasonal vegetables and herbs you have.
- If you don’t want to roast your chicken, you can cut down on the steps, by cooking the whole chicken to make the broth, and then remove the poached meat from the chicken after a couple of hours of simmering. You may find your resulting broth has more oil, from the chicken skin.
- Please BE VERY CAREFUL with the changes in temperature and using glass jars! The Fowlers Vacola preserving jars have always been very sturdy, even with pouring hot stock into a cold jar, but I still place the jars on a sink whilst pouring and steeping.