19 July 2010

chicken soup for the soul

There's something about soup in winter that is like a balm to our cold and irritable senses.  If you're feeling a bit under the weather, if you're in late from a busy day, if you're curling up on the couch with a book for a lazy day off, soup with some buttered slices of toast is a winner every time. 

Over the weekend I caught up with some friends.  Cruising by Emma's parents' house at around lunchtime turned out to be fortuitous timing - Mrs Bates had made chicken soup the day before and there was a bowlful left.  Score!  Reheated, with a piece of the aforementioned toast, it was delicious. 

So, a couple of days later and I'm back at home and feeling the effects of a busy weekend.  It's soup time.  Chicken soup time.  It's easy (deceptively easy - I've just finished making a pot and feel like there MUST be more to it) and a pot will feed several people, or last several days.  Move this recipe around, to suit what's in your cupboard, or what you like to eat.  This is just what I threw in the pot, today.  Tomorrow's another day. 

1 chicken (I used a size 16, or medium)
2 carrots
2 parsnips
2 stalks celery
2 onions
1 swede
1 packet soup mix - I used Sun Valley Foods as it had more barley than the others available
salt and pepper, to taste - you can always add more later
1 tsp each of chicken stock powder, cumin seeds, dried thyme, mustard seeds
spring fresh rosemary and parsley
  1. Fill stock pot a little over halfway with hot water, put on stove top to bring to boil. 
  2. Add chicken.  Chop veges and add, along with soup mix and any spices you choose to use. 
  3. Once boiling, reduce temprature and allow to simmer for about an hour or so (until the chicken is well and truly cooked - the legs/wings will be falling away from the body).
  4. Remove chicken to a plate and strip all the meat from the bones and removing the skin.  If you want to make stock from the bones, set them aside.  Add chicken meat back into soup. 
  5. Turn off heat and leave the soup sitting in the covered pot for a few hours, to let the flavours steep and strengthen.  Reheat when it's time to eat.  Serve with bread, or a side of rice. 
NB: Some addition you may like would be to add some pasta, or rice.  Some like to throw a tin of tomatoes in, or a little cream.  If you've curry paste in the fridge (green thai, for example) this would be a tasty addition, and a little coconut milk! 

1 comment:

  1. We made some chicken soup yesterday, this time using the carcus from a roast chicken (dinner from previous night), with what meat was left. It had so much more flavour then my boiled chook, as per above - definitely will be roasting in advance from here on in.