Flu-Busting Chicken Soup

Having the flu sucks. As popular culture would put it, ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat. Seriously, doesn’t the flu bug (totally the scientific term for it) realise that if everyone had the time to spend all day lying in bed doing nothing but reading trashy magazines and watching godawful daytime television, everyone would spend all day doing nothing but reading trashy magazines and watching godawful daytime television?

If you haven’t gathered, I’m ill. Full blown, sore throat/achey limb/blocked nose/blocked ears ill. I do apologise. This was supposed to be my ‘post amazing holiday in beautiful southern Italy’ post, where I put up dozens of arty pictures of the slightly delapidated but marvelously stunning Puglia.

Alas, all you’re getting instead is pictures of my slightly delapidated but marvelously stunning somewhat appealing chicken soup, my most heartfelt apologies. Delicious chicken soup I would add though. My tastebuds are pretty wack at the moment so maybe i’ll get round to making this again and realise it tastes wiiiiierd, but right now it well hits the spot. Its full of traditional cold-busting ingredients: onions, garlic, parsley, chicken stock (home-made, of course), ginger, chilli flakes, and tons of vitamin-filled vegetables.

Before I start, I should say that we always have loads of homemade chicken stock in the freezer and that really, really makes this soup – if you have the time, always make some stock at the end of a roast, its so totally worth it. If you don’t have any handy in the freezer like I did, i’d try and get a good quality fresh pot of stock as opposed to a cube – hey you’re ill, treat yourself!

Recipe

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 2 good tbsps oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 3 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 150g mushrooms, sliced
  • sprinkle of sweetcorn
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled but not chopped
  • decent bunch of parsley (stalks on), tied together
  • bunch of fresh thyme and rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pints of good quality chicken stock (home-made if possible!)
  • 3 cooked chicken thigh fillets (I prefer thigh fillets but any part of the chicken will do fine), shredded.
  • 1 to 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Good couple of handfuls spinach
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon

The above vegetables are just what I happened to have in the house, its not neccessary use exaclty these: try maybe parsnips instead of sweet potato, or broad beans instead of celery (you get the idea).

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large (and I mean, LARGE) saucepan.
  2. Add onion, cook on a very low heat, without colouring, for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sweet potato, carrots, celery and red pepper, plus a little salt or pepper and cook until starting to soften.
  4. Add the mushrooms, garlic, herbs, and spices and cook for a little longer.
  5. Add the chicken stock and slowly bring up to heat, simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Add the sweetcorn and chicken, simmer for a further 5-10 minutes, season.
  7. Take out the parsley and garlic and combine with the spinach and lemon juice in a small blender. Blend and add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve a good ladel of soup with a spoonfull of the spinachy-garlic blend on top.
  9. Feel better almost immediately.

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