It’s soup time!
So I got a little bit ill last week. Some sort of pretty serious man flu. So I decided to make my cure-all soup. Well a variation on it at least. I’ve been doing a lot of research into nutrition and found out that watercress is probably the best thing you can eat. It’s like the ultimate super food. So knowing that I thought I’d make a tasty chicken stock, then knock up a nice little watercress soup. I wanted to make it a bit funkier and chuck a few more veggies in there, so it kind of evolved into this recipe. It’s a really great post work out meal. Lots of protein and healthy stuff. For a few extra carbs serve with a dollop of mash potato on top!
If you already have a stock made it’s a pretty quick recipe. If you don’t want to make a stock then just buy the best pre-made one you can afford.
Try and keep all these ingredients organic if you can. You will need;
- 2 large bunches of watercress – just roughly chop 2/3rd’s of it and finely chop the other 3rd
- 2 parsnips – diced
- 1 onion – diced
- 4 carrots – diced
- some broccoli or broccolini
- inch square piece of ginger – finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic – just peeled but left whole
- 2 sweetcorn cobs
- 1 leek
- Maldon Salt and Pepper
- 1.5lt of Chicken Stock
- 12 chicken legs.
If you pre make the chicken stock using my method here you can keep the cooked shredded chicken to add to the soup. If you don’t want to do this method then buy some chicken legs and roast in the oven for 35 mins with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Once cooked shred the chicken from the bones and pop to one side.
So for the stock do the following;
1. 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.
Now you can carefully remove the chicken from the pan and strip the chicken from the bones. Just pop the chicken in a bowl and put to one side. Strain the stock into another pan or large bowl and pop to once side
Once you have the stock done we can go to the next step!
1. Ok so get a nice large heavy based sauce pan, my cast iron pan is my preferred pan of choice. Pop it on a medium heat, once hot add a good lug of extra virgin olive oil. Add the cloves of garlic, the onions and the carrots. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-6 mins until they’ve softened. Add the parsnips and cook for a few more mins until they take on a bit of colour. Now add the leeks and ginger. season again the keep moving around. Cook for a few more mins.
2. Now add the stock. Bring this to a simmer and cook for about 30 mins. As soon as you have the soup simmering pop the oven on and chop up the broccoli into bite sized pieces, pop in an oven roasting pan. Season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Pop in the oven on 200°C. Cook for 20 mins. Now add the sweetcorn to the soup, simmer for 5 mins then add the watercress. Literally cook this for 1-2 mins then whizz up. Pop back on the heat on very low then add the shredded chicken and the finely diced final 3rd of watercress. Let this cook for 1 more min then we’re pretty much done. taste and season accordingly. You want it to be just under seasoned as the broccoli will add the final bit of seasoning.
Serve in a bowl with some of the roast broccoli. If you want to be a bit naughty then grate some cheese on top. Parmesan works really well here. Sorted!