Tuesday, April 30

Nothing beats homemade chicken and vegetable soup

My rather awesome and totally pinworthy (hint hint)
Chicken and Vegetable Soup
In this house when we start to get sick the first thing we do is eat. Nothing particularly special, just standard good whole foods. Generally lots of fruit like strawberries, oranges, and kiwi fruit are consumed during the day. When it comes to dinner, there is one fail safe that I always turn to and that is my homemade chicken and vegetable soup.

Some days when I make it I go all out and even make my own stock before I make the soup. Other days I cheat and just use a lovely box of pre-made stock. Today I am going to share with you the whole process, including the stock making. (Excited much?)

Chicken & Vegetable Soup
with homemade stock

Ingredients - stock
2kg chicken necks
leaves and tips from 1 bunch of celery
2 carrots
vegetable peelings from soup vegetables
2 onions or 1 leek
4 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf (optional I often don't use them but I know others that love them)

Ingredients - soup
2 turnips
2 swedes
4 carrots (my kids are a bit carrot crazy)
3 garlic cloves
1 celery stick
stock (either homemade or pre bought about 4-6 cups)
2 chicken breasts
optional extras - parsnip, pumpkin, potato, brocoli or any other veg that takes your fancy, pasta/noodles

Method - stock
Place all ingredients in a large pot (preferably with a strainer inside it see photo below, there is probably some technical name for this kind of pot but I don't know it). Veggies only need to be roughly chopped. No need to peel. This includes the onions, though if using leeks still give them a good wash as they are generally full of dirt. 

Just a side note on the vegetable peels. I actually peel all my other vegetables for the soup in advance, cover them with some water and throw the peels in the pot. 

Cover with water and bring to the boil. Gently simmer for a few hours. I like to give mine a bit of a stir and mash every now and then, just to make sure all the goodness of the juices get squished out.
My awesome pot with insert
Perfect for making stock and soup 

If you are like me and have one of these super cool pot inserts, separating the liquid from the other stuff is as easy as eating ice-cream. 

If however you don't, you need to find yourself a super large sieve. 

If you are after a particularly clear stock then you need to find the sieve and a new chux cloth and pour the liquid through the chux lined strainer. 

Not that I have ever actually done this, but I have heard that it is what all the top chefs do when they want to make a liquid clearer. In our house thankfully no one is particularly fussed on how clear their soup is.

Stock with celery and garlic
Method - Soup
Dice all vegetables to about 1-1.5cm square. If you are adding broccoli leave out till 5 minutes before cooking other wise it will just become mush.

Place in pot and cover with stock.

Gently simmer for an hour.

Add finely diced chicken. Simmer for another 15 minutes or so.

If adding noodles or pasta they can either be cooked in the pot with the soup (saves on washing) or cooked separately and added when serving. Just check the cooking times on packet and add to pot that long before you want to serve.

Full of nature's goodness

 It's Tuesday and I have blogged which means I am joining Jess and the gang for IBOT.
You should too!

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