Hello from my desk where I am supposed to be recipe creating and cooking class scheduling but instead….. I am eating. Slurping actually. It is all getting too hard so I am taking a breather to think, slurp my soup and write to you. Who says multi tasking is dead !
I think about soups a lot. A good bowl of soup nourishes me from the boots up and it just so happens that I am in boots today so there’s a stroke of luck!
I have made this soup on reasonably fast rotation lately as my tribe have all fought their coughs and colds. I am an avid believer that a good chicken soup really does have the power to heal. Over the past few weeks I have loved more (always a beautiful thing), rubbed backs more, stroked eyebrows when their cough has been keeping them awake at night as well as prodding bodies up on pillows and doing my damnedest to remember to stroke those said eyebrows and DO….. NOT….. FALL….. ASLEEP….. NELLIE!!! If anyone is ever so kind as to give me just a little pillow space …. it’s all over for me. Night-y night folks.
My tribe is thankfully back to fabulous good health. I celebrate this sincerely. Today I slurp on my soup though & I cannot help but feel just a little bit jaded. I love so many things about being a Mum. It has been the greatest thing that has ever happened to me BUT….. it does kind-a suck (kind-a big time) when the inevitable germs finally catch up with you after all that back rubbing and pillow propping and soup making and you find yourself not only with no luxury of ‘a sick day’ but salt is rubbed further into the wound (not as nice as Vicks vapor rub rubbed on the feet, let me tell you) as you make your very own pot of ‘get well’ chicken soup ! Told you it kind-a sucked right!
So for all other parents out there whose children are back at school with a pep in their step thanks to your good love and good soup and yet fate seems to have it that you are now yourself feeling a little heady and snotty…..well…..here is my ‘nourishing chicken and vegetable soup recipe …..just for you (and also for me) as I can sadly almost guarantee it that the kids aint going to cook it for us my friends! They have too many other things to catch up on now their energy is back.
The sun has been out of late. It was glorious here so I am thinking the cold will be very short-lived, especially loaded up with this here soup. It may however just take a little bit more blogging and ……for my family to actually read it to understand that every now and then a Mum needs a little soup, a little eyebrow stroking and a little propping up.
Here’s to stroked eyebrows my friends.
Big love ,
Nourishing chicken and vegetable soup
For the stock
1 whole free range chicken
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 sticks of celery, diced
1 leek, sliced or diced and washed well
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1 fresh bay leaf
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
5 black peppercorns
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
A few sprigs of fresh thyme (in addition to the above)
6 leaves of silverbeet or kale, washed, spines removed and roughly chopped
Freshly cracked black pepper
½ lemon, juiced
Fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped, to serve
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
Wash your chicken both outside and inside the cavity. Place the whole chicken in the pot and cover with approx. 2.5 litres of water. Add the carrots, celery, leek, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and peppercorns. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Remove chicken from the large pot and place the poaching liquid can through a strainer. Reserve the vegetables but discard the halved garlic and peppercorns (if you cannot find them, it is not the end of the world!)
Place a large clean pot on the stove top over a low – medium heat and add the diced onion. Cook, stirring for approx. 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two, being mindful it doesn’t burn. I like to add a few more sprigs of fresh thyme here to flavour the oil. Add the reserved chicken stock as well as the reserved vegetables and increase the heat to medium – high. Boil this liquid for 10 minutes to intensify the flavour. Shred the chicken into chunks (I find using your hands is best for this job). Add the chicken to the stock as well as the silverbeet or kale and simmer for 5 minutes. Season well, to taste with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Remove the thyme and bay leaf and serve with parsley leaves and a little drizzle of olive oil.