This is the time of year when soups really come into their own – they are hot, comforting, quick and healthy, plus extremely versatile. This recipe is like a meal in itself and designed to use up your leftover chicken and bones after a roast, which makes it fantastic value for money too and avoids waste.
Don’t be afraid to make your own stock from the chicken carcass or leg bones, it couldn’t be easier (see below) and really supercharges this, or any, soup thanks to the healing collagen, gelatin and minerals it delivers.
|Ingredients (Serves Four)
|1 large cup of leftover cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
|One tin chickpeas
|One medium onion, finely sliced
|1 large clove garlic, chopped
|1 medium courgette, sliced
|1 tin chopped tomatoes
|1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
|1 bay leaf
|Sprig of thyme
|¼ tsp each of cinnamon and nutmeg
|Sea salt and black pepper
How To Prep
Heat a knob of butter or tsp of olive oil, and add the onion, garlic, carrots, courgette, sweet potato, spices and bay leaf with a pinch of salt added. Put the lid on and cook gently for another 10 minutes until slightly softened. Add the chicken, chickpeas and enough stock to cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove the bayleaf and thyme sprig, season to taste and serve.
To make chicken stock, you’ll need the chicken carcass from a cooked whole chicken, or the saved bones if you’ve cooked chicken thighs or legs. Add them to a slow cooker (or a large heavy bottomed pot on the lowest flame on the hob) and add a tbsp cider vinegar, a bay leaf, one whole peeled clove of garlic, a peeled carrot plus a roughly chopped onion. Add enough boiled water so it comes up to about an inch below the top of the pot.
Bring the stock to the boil then reduce the heat setting to very low and then let it cook for a minimum of 8 hours and up to 24 hours – the longer the better. If you are not using a slow cooker, you can also place a casserole pot into an oven overnight set at approximately 110-120 degrees centigrade.
When the stock is ready, turn off the slow cooker, hob or oven, and allow the stock to cool. Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve and place the cooled stock into glass jars for storage in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for later use.