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Get well chicken soup

Get well chicken soup

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GET WELL CHICKEN SOUP

Serves Cook time Prep time Total time

4-6 people

1 hour 45 min

5 min

1 hour 50 min

This is my go to soup recipe when I’m feeling under the weather. It’s nourishing, healing, comforting and most importantly delicious. The stock is flavoured with medicinal qualities such as A LOT of garlic (a super food to fend off colds, flu and respiratory infections), parsley (full of iron plus anti-flammatory and anti-bacterial properties), ginger (a digestive aid perfect for comforting a bloated stomach), dill (rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants) and bay leaf (source of vitamin C and vitamin A, both great for combating a flu).

The chicken is poached whole in this stock resulting in a super soft, flavoursome and fall-of-the-bone meat. As the chicken is the hero of the dish I’m going to insist that it is free range and if possible, organic. The flavour of free range is far superior (and not to mention a nicer life for the chicken). Feel free to add any vegetables you like or in the fridge. Asian greens, beans, potato, zucchini, spinach, kale, shitake mushrooms all work well just make sure you adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 rashers of bacon
1 leek, finely sliced
8 garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup (1/2 bunch) parsley, stalks removed and finely chopped. Leaves put aside for garnish
3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and cut into small matchsticks
1 whole free range chook
2 litres chicken stock (optional, water can be used)
2 carrots
2 celery sticks
2 bay leaves
10 peppercorns
1 cup pearl barley
1 bunch broccoli
Salt
½ cup (1 bunch) dill, roughly chopped
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated

Method

Heat olive oil in a large deep saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon and fry for 2 minutes until it starts to colour, shaking the pan to stop the bacon from sticking. Add leek, garlic, finely chopped parsley stalks and ginger and cook for a further 2 minutes until leeks start to soften.

Place whole chicken into the saucepan, breast side up, and cover with chicken stock or water. Top with water so the chicken is completely covered in liquid. Chop one carrot in half and add that along with one celery stick, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring soup up to the boil, put the lid on and then turn heat down to low and simmer for one hour. Keep an eye on the soup to ensure it remains at a gentle simmer.

After one hour, add pearl barley to the soup, give it a gentle stir and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes.

Remove chicken from the pot and place onto a plate to cool slightly. Remove carrot, celery and bay leaves and discard. Slice up your remaining carrot and celery along with the broccoli (or any other vegetables you like). Add carrot to the pot, reserving your celery and broccoli until the last minute (they don’t need long to cook) and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat.

When chicken is cool enough to handle, strip meat from the carcass and add meat back to the pot. Discard carcass or keep in the freezer to make your own homemade chicken stock.

Add celery and broccoli to the soup, cover with the lid and leave for 2 minutes to allow vegetables to cook from the heat of the soup. I like my vegetables extra crisp and find that the heat of the soup is enough to cook them to my liking, if you prefer yours to be more cooked, simply cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes before turning off the heat.

Divide into bowls, season with salt and sprinkle over dill, parsley and grated parmesan cheese. This soup will keep in the fridge for 3 -4 days and can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you are going to freeze the soup, do not add carrot, celery and broccoli at the end stage before freezing. Add these when you reheat the soup to keep them looking and tasting fresh.

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