The Autumn is well and truly upon us. The air is crisp, the evenings are dark, blankets are on the beds and I’m definitely craving soup.
Perhaps I am just seriously lame, (which is quite possible since I spent the whole of my last weekend doing a puzzle…but the less said about that the better), but the process of making a big old batch of soup is wonderfully comforting.
Making soup is the best kind of cooking where you can’t really go wrong. By that I mean you don’t have to be exact with your measurements and you can happily sub ingredients in and tap them out according to your store cupboard contents or your personal preference. You only have to have seen Bridget Jones to know that you most certainly can go wrong with your soup. Avoid blue string at all costs and if you’re new to making soups – just keep it nice and simple to start with. The best bit of cooking advice I was given was that it is much easier to add more, but it’s very difficult to take things out, and that is well worth bearing in mind.
Recently, I’ve been making a big batch of chicken soup at the beginning of the week and either eating it throughout the week. I am one of those strange creatures who doesn’t get bored of eating the same thing day in, day out, as long as it is delicious. Or you can freeze some portions, so you can have a bowl or two for a couple of weeks.
I have lots of versions of this soup that I make but here is the version I made most recently which you all seemed to really like on Instagram. It’s a light and fresh chicken broth with lots of veggies, turmeric and parsley.
I prefer to cook my chicken breasts whole in the soup, and then simply scoop them out once the soup is cooked and chop them up. I just find that way the chicken stays juicier and doesn’t dry out. But by all means chop it up before hand, just remember it will take a shorter time to cook. I also love using left over roast chicken for this soup, which you can just warm through in the hot broth. I like to be generous with the chicken and allow a breast per person – as dosing up on protein definitely stops me reaching for the cookie jar (as much).
- 4 chicken breast (bone in if you can, to keep them even juicer, but no stress if you can't find them)
- 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
- 2 medium celery sticks, roughly chopped
- ½ cabbage, roughly chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- generous grind of black pepper
- good pinch of salt
- 1 chicken stock cube, or 1 tbsp concentrated chicken stock
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Fill the kettle up and pop it onto boil
- Take a really big pan and add the olive oil. Once its nice and hot, bung in the spring onion, carrot, and celery. Add the tumeric and crushed garlic. Season well. Give it all a good stir and cook for a couple of minutes being careful not to let it burn.
- If you’ve got time on your hands – you can sweat it all down on a very gentle heat for 10 minutes or so, but i always get impatient.
- Add the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Add the shredded cabbage. Stir well and allow to cook for another minute or so.
- Lay the chicken breasts on the top, and cover with the boiling kettle water. Add the chicken stock cube. Bring the whole mixture to a very gentle simmer and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
- Taste it! This is so important. Does it need more salt? Remove each breast with a slotted spoon and chop into chunks and pop into bowls. Add a good grind of pepper, and then scoop the vegetables and broth into bowls. Add the chopped parsley and slurp your way to warmed heart cockles.
Feel free to play around with this base. Experiment with using a splash of coconut milk, or add cannellini beans, pasta shells or lentils. This is also delicious with roughly chopped butternut squash, courgette or a handful of spinach stirred through at the end.
So simple, so warming and quick to whip up, give it a go and tag me on Instagram @madebymargie.