Chicken, corn & noodle soup with polpette

serves 8-10 starters
difficulty easy
prep time 20mins (approx.)
total time 1hr 30mins (approx.)
main ingredient(s) chicken, corn, pasta, parsley, lemon

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The little polpette really make this soup special, and poaching them quickly at the end keeps them fresh and flavoursome. If you want to deepen the flavour of the broth, just take the drumsticks out after 50 minutes and keep simmering the chicken frame and aromatics for a little longer.


1.4 kg whole free-range chicken, preferably organic
2 brown onions, skin on, cut in half
1 bulb garlic, cut in half crossways
3 sticks celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
½ bunch continental parsley, plus 2 handfuls of leaves to serve
2 fresh bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
½ tablespoon peppercorns
salt flakes
30 grams Grana Padano, grated
2 handfuls fresh breadcrumbs
3 eggs
freshly ground black pepper
3 cobs corn, cooked and kernels sliced off
150 grams spaghetti, broken
1 lemon, juiced


Remove the breasts and the marylands from the chicken and separate the drumsticks from the thighs.

In a large stockpot, add your chicken crown, drumsticks, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, peppercorns, thyme, parsley and bay leaves, cover generously with cold water and bring to the simmer. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and simmer for 50 minutes, skimming when necessary.

While the broth cooks, make your polpette. Remove the skin from the breast and thighs, debone the thighs and dice all the meat into small pieces. Add to a food processor and pulse until minced. Add the Parmesan, breadcrumbs and 1 egg, season with salt and pepper and process until you have a smooth paste. Chill to stiffen the mix and then roll into balls about the size of a 10-cent piece.

Strain the chicken broth into a clean pot (reserving the drumsticks) and bring to a simmer, skimming of any excess fat. Strip the meat from the drumsticks, shred and add to the pot. Add the snapped spaghetti and simmer for 4 minutes then add the corn kernels, polpette and parsley leaves and simmer for 3 minutes. Check and adjust the seasoning. Whisk the remaining 2 eggs and lemon juice together and pour slowly into the hot broth, stirring. Bring back up to just under the boil and serve straightaway with buttered toast.

Comments & Reviews2

Kris's picture
May 17, 2013

Got your newsletter today with this recipe and with two sick kids and a husband struck down with MAN FLU this struck a cord.
This was a lovely soup. Flavour was great and it looked good too.
I might add a little lemon zest to the chicken balls next time.

Kris's picture
Aug 30, 2015

Two years later, still cooking this gorgeous soup.

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