Frances has been helping me in the kitchen again this week. I was fighting off a cold and thought homemade chicken and vege soup might just do the trick to keep it at bay and at the same time Frances would learn how to make chicken stock and a simple vege soup. This is a whole meal in a pot. If you can get yourself organised it’s best to make the chicken stock the day. This means you can let the stock cool and the next day take the layer of fat off the top.
- For the stock
- 1 free range or organic chicken or 3 or 4 chicken carcasses
- 2 carrots – peeled
- 1 large onion – peeled and cut in half
- 2-3 stalks of celery including the leaves on top
- bay leaves and and parsley
Place the chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Bring it to the boil. Lift off the scum that will rise to the surface. This will happen for a few minutes. Then add the vegetables. Simmer gently for about 2 hours. Cool and then refridgerate.
- For the soup
- 3-4 sticks of celery – sliced thinly
- 1-2 leeks cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
- a piece of pumpkin – cut off the skin and cut it into small cubes
- 2 packets of cavolo nero (we’re really hooked on this!!) or chopped up spinach or silverbeet. If you use the cavolo nero, shred the leaves from the tough stalk.
- a handful of a dried pasta shape
- Chicken meat from the chicken used to make the stock or any other cooked chicken.
The next day lift off the fat from the stock. Take out the chicken and set it aside. Strain the stock into a clean pot.
Frances then cut up a variety of vegetables. You can use anything. 2 large carrots or 4 medium ones – grate these as the sweetness of the carrots will come out in the soup.
Add all the ingredients to the pot except the cavolo nero, chicken and pasta. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 mins. Add the greens, pasta and shredded cooked chicken.
Simmer for another 5-10 mins until the pasta is cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with plenty of fresh bread.
The next day we had some left but not enough for 3 more bowls so I added a tin of chopped tomatoes, a tin of drained butter beans, more cavolo nero and a pinch of dried herbs. It became something more Italian. We each grated our own parmesan over the top.