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Chicken and Vegetable soup (with Kale)

Chicken  and Vegetable soup (with Kale)

Every so often I just need to make this soup.

This is the perfect soup for a snow day, or if someone is feeling a little under the weather. It really feels like love in a cup, with all the super healthy vegetables and the addition at the end of our newest super trendy green, welcome Mr Kale.  The trend for kale makes me laugh as it was such a stable in the northeast of Scotland when I was growing up. For years I was banned from using it as Alan had had his fill of kale as a child.  I am slowly and surreptitiously adding it back and I think I am getting away with it!

Obviously if you are super organized you will already have some homemade stock in your freezer (ha! not me), but if you start the stock early you can still just about pull off soup for lunch, whilst filling the house with the smell of something wonderful cooking.  I also add a stock cube or some bought stock to make a larger batch of soup and to give the soup real depth. Store bought stock can be substituted for the home made and shortens the entire cooking process, but then you need to find some cooked chicken.  I have also been a little vague with quantities of liquid.  I like my soup super thick and full of vegetables but if you prefer less stuff in your soup add more stock and season accordingly.  If there is any leftover this soup is even better the day after.

Ingredients (for Stock)

  • 1 five pound chicken or some pieces of chicken on the bone
  • 1 onion, quartered, no need to peel
  • 3 stalks celery, halved
  • 3 carrots, halved
  • few parsley stalks

Place all ingredients  in a large pot and cover with water,  Bring to boil and then simmer gently for three hours. Every so often skim the scum off with a large spoon.

Using a colander, strain the contents of the pot. Once the chicken has cooled slightly, remove the meat from the bones, discard the vegetables.  If you leave the stock to get really cold the fat will rise to the top and can be scooped off. I generally do not remove the fat as that is what gives this home made stock so much flavor.  Also I am in the ‘fat is essential’ camp, it really is not the enemy.

Ingredients (for soup) serves 6-8

  • chicken stock from above
  • cooked chicken meat,  cut into chunks.
  • 2 cups/large handfuls of diced carrots
  • 6 stalks of celery, sliced in half lengthways then cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 zucchini/courgette, diced
  • 1 parsnip or small swede, diced
  • handful of french green beens, cut into three
  • handful or two of chopped kale
  • (if need be some extra chicken stock, I use Knorr stock cubes..its a British thing)
  • olive oil
  • optional, some pasta or white beans

    Method

In the same large pot heat a little olive oil the add the carrots, onion, celery, zucchini and swede or parsnip.  Saute over a gentle heat for 10-15 minutes then add stock.  Continue cooking until carrots are almost done then add the green beans. I sometimes add some pasta at this stage, it all depends on how virtuous I am being.  Cook for a further 5 minutes then add kale and chicken.  Taste for seasoning, adding extra stock if required to cover all the fantastic ingredients and cook for two to three minutes until kale is bright green but not wilted.

Serve hot.

If you try this or any other recipe on my  website I would love feedback.  If you like this recipe feel free to pass it on.

 

 

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