So I’m ill. I’m not sure if it’s a cold or if it’s something slightly more deadly like the plague. I’m going for the latter.
So I’ve decided to make one of my magical cure all known illnesses type of soups. As I have a slightly sore throat I decided to make it with a lot of ginger, Chicken and kale. Should do the job nicely.
Now as I am ill I’m not exactly doing a lot else today so I do have quite a bit of time on my hands. So I’m not going to lie to you, this is going to take a while. This is one of those recipes you do on a Saturday while you’re bumbling around the house cleaning and sorting things out. It is well worth the time you put into it as this will work for lunches in the week, plus we can turn some of it into pies or casserole one night in the week.
So we’re going to need
- 9 Organic chicken legs
- large bunch of Kale
- large bunch of Organic carrots – I managed to get the Bugs Bunny type carrots so you can do that “what’s up Doc” thing while you’re cooking.
- 2 Organic largish Potatoes. I used Nicola Potatoes.
- 2 Parsnips
- 1 Onion
- 1 bulb of Garlic just left whole, with all the skin on
- Ginger – about 3 thumb size bits. Not really finely chopped but sliced thin then diced into random size squares. I want you to know when you get a bit of ginger so you get a nice zing in your mouth
- Malden salt-and-pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Fresh Sage, Parsley and Thyme
- Large Deep Cast iron pan. I really recommend you get one of these. They are expensive but so useful and if you look after them they will last you a lifetime.
1. Okay so I’m using my cast-iron pan as always. Get your chicken legs and add them to the pan and grab a whole bulb of garlic and place at the bottom of the pan. Add a drizzle of olive oil over everything and a pinch of salt and pepper. Give a little jostle and pop the lid on and in the oven on about 200°C for 15 mins then turn down to 150°C and leave to slow cook for 2 hours.
2. While this is cooking you can prep the vegetables. I just cut everything up into bite size bits. Don’t worry too much about getting everything the same size and all neat. This can be quite rustic.
3. So once the chicken is done. remove from the oven, take the lid off and you’ll see there is some nice juice in the pan from the chicken. We are now going to turn all this into a nice stock so add about 1.5 litres of cold water to the pan and put on the hob until it is simmering. Now turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for a further hour or 2 depending on how patient you are.
4. Once we’ve done this we can actually start to make the soup! Finally!
So, get a nice large pan. I’ve got this really nice 35cm thick bottomed pan about 4 inches deep. Great for this kind of thing. So pop on a medium heat, let the pan heat up then add a good splash of olive oil then add the potato and parsnips. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and fry off for a few mins. Now add the onion and keep stirring. Give this a few mins then add the chopped up ginger.
5. No while this is cooking fish the bulb of garlic out of the stock pan. Pop in a bowl and squeeze out all of the garlic, make sure to pick out all the tough skin bits. You should end up with a nice smooth brown garlic paste. It’s really sweet and not too overpowering. It should come out to about 2 tablespoons. Add this to the pan of potato, parsnips and onion. Now add the chopped carrots and season with salt and pepper and stir well. Give it a few mins then turn down and pop the lid on. We’re going to give this about 10 mins on low.
6. While the vege is gently cooking carefully fish out the chicken legs from the stock pan and shred the chicken off the legs. Be careful not to get any cartilage or bones. You can keep the bits of chicken random sizes, as we cook it they will begin to break apart into strands, you do want a few larger bits in there so literally just pull the chicken off the bones but don’t shred it up or cut it up any more. Add the chicken back to the stock pan then add all the vegetables from the other pan. Stir well and keep on a gentle simmer for about 30 mins.
7. Now roughly chop the kale, wash then add to the pan. I just pop it all on top, season with a bit of salt then pop the lid on. Give it 10 mins to wilt gently then mix into the soup. Sorted.
Serve with nice crusty bread or as I like to sometimes, with a dollop of nice mash potato.
I’ve not really added any herbs to this but you could add some Thyme to the stock or add some freshly chopped sage and parsley to the soup right at the end.
There we go, the cure for man flu or the plague.