Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More-than-Chicken Soup

It’s c-c-c-cold outside. Time for comfort food, something hot and hearty to warm up. Packed with vegetables, it is no wonder it is a feel-good food. I like mine with an Asian twist, finely cutting some kaffir lime leaves (which I keep in the freezer) and a dash of white pepper. If you have any leftover bones of a roast chicken, you can put it in a cheesecloth bag/sachet with some fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, bay leaves...) to infuse the flavors while cooking. Put this in when you add the water and take out before serving.

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 lb (450g) skinless free-range chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
4 cups (1 litre) water
3 carrots peeled and cut into small dice
½ cup (120ml) quinoa or rice
1 tsp sea salt
large handful of green leaves*, chopped
handful of green beans, chopped
  • Coat the bottom of a large stockpot with a bit of oil. On medium-high heat, sauté the onion and celery for 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Scoop out and set aside. 
  • Add more oil, and on high heat, brown the chicken on all sides (about 2 minutes per side.) Scoop out and set aside. 
  • Pour a splash of water into the pot so the liquid bubbles up quickly. Use this to help scrape up any bits stuck to the pan (de-glaze). 
  • Put the onion mix and the meat back into the pot. Add the carrots.
  • Add the stock and water. Bring to a boil. Skim off any frothy bubbles that rise to the surface for the first 15 minutes. 
  • Turn heat down and cover to simmer (make sure that it is gently bubbling) for 1 hour. Stir occasionally. 
  • Take out chicken pieces, remove bones (if any), and cut into small pieces. Return meat to pot. Taste and season with salt.
  • Turn heat up and add the grain of choice. Boil for a further 15 minutes. 
  • Add chopped leaves and green beans 5-8 minutes before serving so that the veggies retain their green color and freshness.  
* Bok choy, cabbage, chard, kale, spinach, etc


  1. Did your chicken soup yesterday.
    Soooo delicious !
    As the fresh green beans didn't look that fresh, I replaced them with mushrooms. Great combination.

  2. This recipe is unintimidating for a novice and so hearty and delicious. I added lemongrass in the broth for additional flavor. My toddler slurped and said "Mmm...yummy :-)"
    -TL (NY, NY)


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