ok, i am admitting defeat.. i have a cold.. i am even too tired to look for the cap key.
it is time for chicken soup. i dont know if it really helps, but for some reason we are craving it now. aimee said she would help. jill said she would eat it. megan just nodded.
i love soups, we make a lot of them. they are so easy, but i am going all out on this one, we will eat it all weekend.
are you ready?
I don’t follow recipes, especially for soup. but this is what i am putting in it.
I am going to cook it in the crock pot, but as i cook in layers, a lot will be prepped on the stove.
one big onion, chopped fine
two or three tablespoons of ginger, fresh, grate it.
two or three leeks, chopped, wash them well, split them to get all the grit out before chopping.
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, chopped (they are good for colds)
1 cup carrots, chopped up
1 big sweet potatoe, diced (cubes)
3 celery stalks, sliced thin
1/2 a bottle of unoaked white wine
7 cups chicken stock
lots of parsley, freshly chopped.. lots… no lots
1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped, more if you want.
1 tbsp of each oregano and thyme and two bay leaves, not chopped and be sure to take them out before serving.
spinach, fresh, baby if you can get it, two cups, chopped fine (keep it for the end)
1 cup or so frozen peas or corn or both
6 – 8 chicken thighs
one head of garlic, chopped.. yes the whole head. or even two.
1/2 cup dry lentils, rinsed off
I usually add a teaspoon of horseradish as well, up to you, the flavour is nice in the soup.
no salt, but pepper, freshly ground i hope. a few twists. taste when finished to see if salt is needed.
so in goes the chicken broth and turn on the crock to low, pour in the wine too.
remove the skin from the chicken, wash it and drop it in the broth, the chicken, not the skin, you will remove the bones later and chop it up.
in a pan with some , not much, oil toss in the onions and just heat until brown, then into the soup
do the same with the leeks, brown them to caramelize them, then into the soup.
now, repeat with the sweet potatoes and carrots, one at a time, brown them a bit.
doing that intensifies the flavours.
ok, now put in everything else, except for the garlic, spinach and peas.
the spinach is added when the cooking is finished, let it sit in the hot soup for a few minutes before serving.
when the veggies are tender add the garlic and peas.
how long to cook? do it on low, to keep in all the goodness, and to torment everyone with the aroma.
test the veggies after 4 or 5 hours or so, when they are tender the soup is ready. don’t be afraid to cook it all day.
when the chicken bones can be pulled out easily, remove the thighs and take out all the bones, chop the chicken up and return to the soup. no bones in the soup please.
taste the broth after 5 hours or so, not until the chicken is cooked, don’t taste food with raw chicken in it, you can add more chicken broth or water if you think it is too thick. you can add salt now if needed. Test the lentils too, they are not ready if crunchy. The sweet potato cooks faster than the celery, you may want to wait an hour or so before adding it.
when you add the spinach you could add a bit of lemon zest if you want.