I’ve never been a huge soup fan. I’m happy to skip the appetizer at dinner if its a soup, and don’t have cans/sachets tucked away in my “essentials cupboard.” But whenever I catch a cold, I’m suddenly inexplicably craving it and frantically start searching the web for some life-changing soup recipe. Its a futile exercise, of course, as I always come back to the same recipe, which I’m going to share with you today.
My grandma is visiting me for a few days, and as our living room doesn’t get enough sunlight it tends to be a little chilly in here during winter. So I thought I’d make a batch of soup to keep her warm in the evenings.
Of course, there are no hard-and-fast rules with soup, so you can use this recipe as a guide and adjust according to your own preferences. For example, use leg or thigh pieces instead of chicken breast. This will give your broth a higher fat content but also a much richer flavour. You can also vary the vegetables you add: peas and cabbage go well with this recipe.
2 chicken breasts (always try and go for organic!)
1.5 litres water (approximately)
A few peppercorns, cumin seeds and coriander seeds
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic (peeled)
1 small potato
1 small onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
2tbsp soy sauce
Start by putting the water in a pot, and adding the chicken breasts, peppercorns, cumin seeds, corriander seeds, onion and garlic cloves. Cover and bring to boil over a medium-low heat. Leave to cook until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 15-20 mins. Remember, breasts cook quickly and you don’t want them to be overcooked and rubbery.
Remove the chicken onto a chopping board, and strain the broth, discarding the onion, garlic, seeds, etc.
While the chicken cools, peel and chop the potato into small pieces and cover with some water in a small pot. Boil until the potato softens, then mash it in the water till it is creamy, and then stir into the broth. This helps thicken the soup slightly and saves you adding cornflour for the same purpose.
Now, shred the chicken. If you prefer a “chunkier” soup, you can also chop the pieces into bite-size chunks. Then, in a non-stick frying pan, heat a little (very little!) oil and toss the onion, carrot and sweetcorn till softish. Add the chicken and sprinkle over some salt and black pepper to taste.
Add this mixture to the broth, and bring to boil. Simmer for a few minutes and then add the soy sauce and vinegar. Taste to see if you need any more seasonings. If you like, you can add a dash of red chilli pepper as well.