Hearty Chicken & Veggie Broth – Serves 4 – 6

Winter is coming…

Hold on!! Winter is here, in force it would appear!! Early snow in the Midland’s this year….Brrrrrr….it’s a great time for a nice hearty soup recipe. And what better soup than an old school ‘Chicken soup for the Soul’.

This chicken & vegetable soup is very simple to prepare. It can be made from just vegetables if you wish, with the addition of some noodles / barley / lentils / chick peas etc. However, for this recipe I am going to use free range chicken on the bone. This makes it more rustic but also creates a better taste because of the stock flavour it creates. Lean chicken breast can also be used, however you may need to add a bit of chicken stock to boost the flavour of the soup. Soup can’t get any easier than this…here goes…

2 Carrots (Peeled and Chopped)
1 Onion (Chopped)
1 Leek (Chopped)
2 Sticks Celery (Chopped)
1 Sweet Potato (Peeled and Diced)
1 Potato (Peeled and Diced)
1 Clove Garlic (Chopped)
1 Bunch Spinach (Cleaned, de-veined and Sliced)
1 Mixed Portions Free Range Chicken
Sea Salt and Black Pepper

• Using a large pot, place all the vegetables excluding the spinach inside and over a medium heat begin to sauté the vegetables until they start to sweat. Do not add any oil or cooking fat.
• As they begin to sweat, add some cold water. I would say about 1 ½ litres. You want your soup to not get to watery even though it is a broth type of soup. Remember you can always add more water at a later stage if you would like.
• Once the water comes to the boil you can add the chicken pieces. Drumsticks, winglets (trimmed into 2 pieces is nice) and breasts cut into cubes are the types of chicken I prefer to use for this soup.
• I usually just keep the skin on the chicken pieces during the cooking process. What you will notice as the chicken and vegetables simmer together is a brown type of foam (scum as we call it) that rises to the top. I suggest that you scoop this scum away using a tablespoon and just discard it. It is simply the impurities that are released from the chicken during the cooking time.
• Season to taste and make sure that the chicken flavour comes through. You can always add a little chicken stock to enhance the flavour.
• Once you have got the right taste and the chicken and vegetables are cooked, you can add the shredded spinach at the end. You don’t even need to have the soup on the stove when you add it as it cooks into the soup straight away.
• Enjoy this soup during the cold winter nights with a nice crusty artisan bread. Season with a little Cayenne Pepper, sprinkle with a little feta, dip your bread and …Bon Apetiti!