Cold nights call for quick cooking decisions. So, before you resign yourself to take out, consider any one of these tasty health boosters from our soup recipes collection. Whether you prefer broths, creamy creations or pots of chunky veg, these bowls of comfort and colour will see you through. Who said winter meant saying goodbye to bright, happy colours?
For the chicken stock
1 whole free range chicken
2 carrots, cut into large chunks
3 celery sticks, cut into large chunks
2 onions, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved
¼ bunch fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
For the chicken soup
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 potato, chopped
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2L chicken stock, recipe below
2 cups shredded cooked chicken – you will get this meat from the stock.
Flake salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1. To make the chicken stock, place the chicken and vegetables in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Pour in only enough cold water to cover the chicken (about 2 litres) – if you add too much the broth will taste weak. Toss in the garlic, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns and allow it to slowly come to the boil.
3. Lower the heat to medium–low and gently simmer for 1 to 1½ hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done.
4. As it cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface. Add a little more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered while simmering.
5. Remove the chicken to a cutting board. When it’s cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones. Hand-shred the meat and keep it aside.
6. Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into another pot to remove the vegetable solids. If you don’t plan on using it right away you can cover and refrigerate your stock for a few days or keep it frozen.
7. Now to make the soup. Place a large pot over medium heat and coat with the oil.
8. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, potato, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.
9. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes until tender.
10. Fold in the chicken and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper.