Chicken soup with egg, lemon and bird’s nest pasta

Chicken soup with egg, lemon and bird’s nest pasta

Mark Roper

In essence, this is a kind of chicken noodle soup with a twist, based on a simple chicken broth flavoured with lemon and cinnamon that Greg’s mother used to make. It’s not one of those hearty all-in-one meal types of soups, but rather a light broth A good stock requires a certain degree of love and attention, but is also intensely rewarding. It’s not so much about effort or difficulty, but more about the time, which is needed for the chicken bones to simmer away.



Quantity Ingredient
1 large chicken, about 1 kg
1kg chicken bones
2 onions, roughly diced
2 sticks celery, roughly diced
1 medium-sized leek, white part only, roughly diced
garlic, halved
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1/2 lemon, peeled
1/4 teaspoon allspice


Quantity Ingredient
250g dried ‘bird’s nest’ vermicelli noodles
5 egg yolks
1 lemon, juiced
6 soft-poached eggs, (optional)
extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
salt and pepper


  1. Wash the chicken and bones and put them into a 5 litre cooking pot. Pour over enough water to completely cover and bring to the boil. Skim away the scum, add the vegetables and bring it back to the boil. Add the cinnamon, peppercorns, bay leaves, lemon peel and allspice. Simmer very gently for 1½ hours, uncovered. Skim off any scum that forms on the surface regularly. Carefully lift out the chicken. Set aside.
  2. Let the stock simmer gently for another hour. At the end of the cooking time, the liquid will have reduced quite substantially and you will have around 2 litres of stock. Very carefully ladle the liquid into a fine sieve. The less you disturb the bones and vegetables in the process the clearer the final broth will be. If you like, you can now chill or freeze this stock for future use.
  3. To make the soup, pull the meat off the chicken, throwing away the bones and skin, and tear the flesh into smallish pieces.
  4. Slowly bring 1.5 litres of the chicken stock to the boil, season to taste, then lower the heat to a very low simmer. In a separate pot, cook the noodles in boiling salted water until they are tender. Try to keep the little nest shapes intact.
  5. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and lemon juice. Ladle a spoonful of the hot stock into the egg mixture, stir it well, then pour the egg mixture into the barely simmering stock, whisking well all the time. Cook gently over a low heat until the soup gradually starts to thicken. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary – it should be fragrant, refreshing and lemony, with a luscious velvety-smooth texture.
  6. Divide the chicken flesh between 6 serving bowls, and place a nest of noodles on top. Remove the soup from the heat and ladle over the chicken and noodles. To serve, top each nest with a poached egg, if using, then drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the cinnamon and paprika. For an extra hit of lemon, add some finely shredded preserved lemon peel.
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