Although I have said that I love soup I noticed that, at this stage, there are only two soup recipes in this blog. The reason is that I don’t use recipes for my soups, they have in them what every good soup should have – whatever is in the house and whatever is in season. I have grown huge pumpkins this year so there will be lots of pumpkin soup, but each batch will be different. Some will have other vegetables such as sweet potato or potato and others could have curry powder or peanut butter and coriander, or just be very smooth and creamy with a dollop of thickened yoghurt and chopped chives.
This is a chicken soup recipe that was given to my son by a work colleague when he had a pretty bad cold. He called it Polish Chicken soup and he was from Poland and to his family it was the ultimate cold cure. It is easy, and in this incarnation is very quick and apart from chicken I use whatever vegetables are either in the garden or really cheap at the shops.
Chicken Soup – with a Polish heritage
The original recipe called for chicken frames which were boiled in the stock and pepper, scooping the froth from the surface, until foam stopped appearing then the vegetables and other ingredients were added and simmered until the meat was falling off the bones. In this instance the drumsticks were so cheap that they were what I used and I couldn’t resist adding extra herbs and spices. The whole lot went in together, no browning the meat – one pot that’s it.
I used a pressure cooker, but it would work fine in a pot on the stove or in a slow cooker. I have never embraced the slow cooker – I just can’t get my head around taking all day to cook something or to even know what I am going to feel like eating at the end of the day, and there’s always the chance that a better offer may come my way.
- 2 kg of chicken drumsticks
- 2 tbs Vegeta (vegetable stock powder)
- ground black pepper
- 2 sticks rosemary
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 star anise
- 1 cm grated fresh ginger or 1 tsp ground dried ginger
- small bundle of fresh oregano / marjoram
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 large carrots
- couple of stalks celery (I didn’t have any so I omitted this)
- some green vegetable – I used beans (fresh, cheap, in season)
- 1/2 kg fresh mushrooms (entirely optional – I had them so in they went, I also could have added sweet potato or potatoes)
Put the chicken and all the ingredients into the pot or pressure cooker and cover with water (boiled is faster) and bring to a simmer. Cook until meat is falling of the bones, stirring will cause the meat to fall off, pull out the bones, removing any attached meat and returning it to the pan when they are cool enough to handle. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are done. At this point I could also add softer vegetables like zucchini, frozen peas or corn kernels.
In the pressure cooker add the boiling water at the beginning with the chicken pieces, add the stock powder and leave it boiling and uncovered and adding the herbs and spices and vegetables as they are chopped. One pot, one knife, one chopping board, how easy is that! When all the ingredients are in the pressure cooker, close and lock the lid and cook under pressure for 20 minutes, release the pressure, stir to remove the bones, add the mushrooms and simmer until ready.