The last four weeks have been a disaster in our household, health-wise.
Vida got Croup, Sienna got a kiddies version of it, I got the big persons version of it, hubby got injured in a game, I then developed a barking cough, and now hubby has contracted the disease we all had – albeit late and with a vengeance.
I’ve been known to blame Pre-School for these ongoing illnesses and you can read more about that here.
But I digress. Or not really. Because the title of this post relates to the illnesses so I’m right on point. For a change. (I’ve been known to go on tangents)
Because who doesn’t crave Chicken and Veg soup when they are sick? And since it’s the first time this year where socks are required on cold feetsies, this recipe couldn’t have come at a better time.
Everyone makes chicken soup their own way. Some use packaged stock and veg for a quick and easy solution, others only use broth from a chicken, some use noodles, others use beans of some description – it really is a whatever floats your boat kinda thing.
I love my soup to be hearty but not overboard chunky. I love my soup to be stacked with veg and chicken that has fallen off the bone. I love my soup to be full of natural flavour enhancers (like leek and garlic) and I love my soup to rock my world.
I reckon this recipe comes pretty close to awesome and so I want to share it with you.
It’s no secret that the key to an excellent chicken soup is the base and so I always boil a chicken first. Depending on the size of it, it should take between 1.5 and 2 hours to boil and you know it’s done when it starts to fall of the bone. And once you’ve removed the chicken and strained all the yucky stuff out – the liquid you are left with is like gold.
Whole free range chicken – 1.5 kg
3 sticks of celery
Half a bag of baby spinach
1 cup of Green beans
1 handful of continental parsley
1 clove of crushed garlic
Sea salt flakes and ground black pepper
Olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter
500ml of Chicken Stock (I use Campbell’s)
- Wash your chicken thoroughly and cut into quarters, making sure you wash away all the blood.
- Cover chicken with cold water and boil for 1.5 – 2 hours or until it’s falling off the bone.
- Dice the veggies to desired size (I like mine pretty small so I put them all – except the leek and spinach – in a food processor after I’ve washed them). The leek I just chop roughly, perhaps 1cm in length, and then wash after its chopped to make sure I can see and remove all the dirt.
- While chicken is cooking, put a large casserole pot (I use cast iron) on a medium heat and add some olive oil and butter. Once the butter’s melted, add the leek and garlic and stir until it softens and you have that lovely leeky aroma.
- Add the rest of the veg to the leek and stir until all the veg are coated in the butter/oil mixture. Cook for around 5 minutes until you start to see the veg softening.
- Pour the chicken stock into the veg mixture – 500ml should just cover it – stir and let simmer on a low heat while the chicken cooks.
- Once the chicken’s cooked, remove from broth and place in a bowl. Remove the veg mixture pot from heat and place in the sink. Position a mesh strainer over the casserole pot and pour the hot chicken broth straight into it (the mesh strainer will catch most of the the foamy grey stuff known as coagulated juices)
- Place the casserole pot back on low heat and stir well, adding some finely chopped parsley and baby spinach leaves.
- Bone the chicken and add it to the soup in bite sized pieces
- Season the soup with sea salt flakes and pepper (I use ground black pepper but you can use cracked if you prefer it)
- Serve with crusty bread and finely shaved parmesan cheese and ENJOY!
- The reason I use the 500ml of packaged stock is for that little bit of extra flavour. It gives the natural broth the kick it needs without stealing the shine from the chicken’s juices. Like I said, the key to an amazing soup is it’s base.
- I like my veg diced small so that your spoon of soup has a bit of everything. Dice them larger and you might only get one or two veg – and you might like it like that. Each to their own!
Do you have any tips on how to make an excellent soup or have a recipe you want to share with me?